This old Japanese Nihonga or painting is a lovely depiction of two traditional Hina dolls, meant to represent a young boy and girl in the dress kimono for the celebratory days, Girl's Day. The Japanese word 'nihonga' means a traditional Japanese painting usually seen after World War II as the representative of something new. It could also be called a "Kakemono written 掛物 which literally means hanging, referring to a painting or calligraphic work mounted on paper or textile, for hanging in the tokonoma alcove. In a tea ceremony, the kakemono is the centerpiece of the tea room. I am no art expert or critic, but in my opinion, a well-done piece of small wall art in beautiful vibrant colors and well-painted or charcoaled with great character and good skill, and would make a lovely piece of wall art either framed or unframed for a child's room or for the young at art. Painted on silk in reds, purples with gold highlights, a cherry blossom tree blooms behind them. A consult with my sister the art major is required- or more research, as it looks and feels like it was colored with some type of chalk yet does not smear and feels like some type of paint. I think it would be quite lovely matted and framed. I will try to remember to pull it back out and get some side shots. It is now well stored in the protective paper that it came in from Japan. This came from a shop in Tokyo and they could not answer my question about age except that it was 'old'. While an unknown artist to us, this painting in our opinion a well-done piece, signed yet not interpreted, also with the red stamp or Kamajirushi of two different names, it most likely is the artist and the shop, or perhaps two artists- as this is wonderfully painted on silk. An interpretation of the signature and two marks may shed some more light on age, or it could be an unknown wonderful piece of folk art. It is in very good condition. In very good condition, the paper appears yellow but I believe that is its natural color, or it could be patina. No tears or stains.
SIZE: 8.3 x 7.1 inches or 21cm x 18cm
Japanese Hinamatsuri 雛祭りCelebration
Hinamatsuri 雛祭り also called Doll's Day or Girls' Day, is a special day in Japan. Hinamatsuri is celebrated each year on March 3. Platforms covered with a red carpet are used to display a set of ornamental dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period. In the nineteenth century ningyo were introduced to the West. During the Meiji Era, three men became pioneers in collecting ningya, Kurihara Sokosut 1851-1913, Nishizawa, Senko 1864–1914, and Tsuboi Shogoro 1863–1913. The three men are referred to as Gangu san Ketsu or The Three great toy collectors. Nishizawa Senko, a banker, gathered a significant collection on hina-ningyo. He was an active researcher, collector of stories, documents, and information relating to the development of hina-ningyo during the Edo period. Senko's son Tekiho 1889–1965 inherited his collection but, a great portion of the collection was lost in the Kanto earthquake of 1932. (Scott, 2008).
Dolls have been a part of Japanese culture for many years, and the phenomenon of collecting them is still practiced. Many collections are preserved in museums including the Peabody Essex Museum, Kyoto National Museum, and the Yodoko Guest House.
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