AB 56-4 c


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Ningyo Did you know?

What is it?
Yamabushi Doll
What is it made of?
Fabric/Paper/Hair/Composition (dolls)
Where is it from?
When was it made?
Object ID
AB 56-4 c

This figurine of a yamabushi (mountain priest) is made of composition (heads, hands, and feet) and cloth (rest of the body). Yamabushi are mountain hermits, believed to have supernatural powers. The figure is bald with side whiskers and wears the small black cap typical of a yamabushi. He also holds a blank paper scroll/banner in his right hand, recalling the instance in the Heike Monogatari (the legendary epic Tale of the Heike) in which the warrior Benkei, dressed as a yamabushi, reads from a scroll in order to help his lord Minamoto no Yoshitsune escape. The doll has red eyeliner painted on, indicating that it may represent a kabuki actor performing this role. 

Donated by Mr. Edmund Johnson, 1956.
AB 56-4 c Yamabushi Doll (front)