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did you know?

What is it?
Anesama Ningyō Doll
What is it made of?
Where is it from?
When was it made?
20th century
Object ID

This is a paper anesama ningyō ("big sister doll"). Her head and voluminous hair are made from twisted white paper. Her kimono is made from an inner sheet of folded red paper under an outer layer of folded red paper with a white floral pattern, and her obi (sash) is made from pale blue folded paper with a white floral pattern. There are added bands on the obi made of silver and yellow checkered paper and pale blue paper. A red and white cord (called an obi-ita) is also tied around the waist. Her hair is decorated with a silver tassel on one side and a gold wire coil hung with pink thread on the opposite side. The doll is mounted on a black cardboard strip that is folded at the bottom so that the doll can stand upright.

Anesama ningyō are paper dolls made from washi (rice paper). The dolls are frequently three-dimensional with elaborate hairstyles and kimono, though they usually lack facial features. 

Gift of Mrs. Reischauer
2009.132.1 Anesama Ningyo (front)