Himeji Daruma


. Folk Toys from HYOGO - Kobe, Himeji .

Papermachee Dolls from Himeji 姫路張子

Himeji Hariko Papermachee dolls, which are made by putting together multiple layers of Japanese washi paper, have been introduced from China in the Muromachi period. This strong paper is called henkogami 反故紙.
Especially during the Edo period, the making of papermachee dolls and toys prospered in the castle towns throughout Japan where an abundance of extra washi could be found.

It is said that in Himeji this handicraft originated with Toyo'oka Tadashichi. 豊岡直七
He learned the craft in Osaka and brought it back to Himeji, but he produced mainly masks and no Daruma, since they did not sell well.
During the Taisho period, the funny "Daruma with a Headband" (hachimaki Daruma) from Nagoya became quite popular and so the Himeji producers started making Daruma with a headband too. Today, the fourth generation of Toyo'oka's sons-in-law still retain this traditional art.

The families of Matsuo Takashi and Matsuo Masatoshi are the main producers nowadays, making mostly masks, papermachee dolls and some Daruma.
Takashi Matsuo (Main Family 本家) TEL: 0792-32-7762
Masatoshi Matsuo (Branch Family 分家) TEL; 0792-92-7509

The papermachee dolls from Himeji 姫路の張子 
are different from others, since they are made from some long-used models made of the same clay as rooftiles, so they are pretty strong and do not wear off as wooden blocks (kigata 木型) do in the course of time. Motives for the masks are long-nosed goblins (tengu 天狗), water goblins (kappa 河童), demons (oni 鬼), dogs, monkeys, rabbits, legendary figures such as Momotaroo and many others, about 50 different types altogether.

The dolls include little tigers that wiggle their heads, heads for lion dances (shishigashira 獅子頭), Daruma, Three Mountains or One Mountain (for the festival at a local shrine with that name) and many others.


source : ameblo.jp/a-late-bloomer

Echigojishi Daruma 越後獅子達磨 lion dance from Echigo

a papermachee doll from Himeji 姫路張子

. Echigojishi 越後獅子 lion dance from Echigo .


Mitsuyama Hariko, Hitotsuyama Hariko  
三つ山 一つ山張子

In many of Japan's Shinto Cults artificially constructed holymountains are revered as temporary seats of gods - vestiges, no doubt, of pre-Buddhist times.

Left: a bamboo basket with a stone-pine crown as a holy mountain on a litter from the Gion festival in Kyoto.
Right: cloth-veiled mountain about 10 metres high, with a shrine on top of it, as in Himeji at theMitsuyama festival.
source : negenter

You can see the colourful papermachee version of this "mountain", which is sold during the annual festival. These toys have gone out of production before the war, but are now back in vogue.


Himeji Papermachee Masks  姫路張子の面

Papermachee masks from Himeji

姫路市 書写の里 美術工芸館
TEL:0792-67-0301 松尾 隆工房


Himeji Daruma  姫路達磨

He comes in three sizes and is rather longish. His head is small and the eyes are painted under large eyebrows. On his red robe the folds are painted in gold, sometimes with a pattern of Chinese flowers on the sides. His characteristic is the wide headband with blue dots.
There is a version without a headband and no eyes painted and anotherfunny one with a little
Octopus posing as Daruma (Tako Okiagari 蛸 起き上がり) . 


source : www.city.himeji.lg.jp/koho/press/
. Kuroda Kanbei Yoshitaka 黒田官兵衛 孝高 .
(1546 - 1604) - and NHK 2014


Seaweed Daruma from Daikaku-ji, Amagasaki  

Since Amagasaki is quite close to Himeji, I will introduce this Daruma here.

This is a little talisman to ward off evil and bring good business. He is sold at the temple Daikaku-ji in Amagasaki during the Spring Festival. Since the Meiji period every year the temple prepares a little Daruma with a short jacket made from a bleached seaweed (konbu) for people who apply for it. On the seaweed the name and age of the person and his zodiac animal are written and then this is put up atthe Family Shelf of the Gods for daily prayer. The sheet of seaweed is fastened with a belt of an auspicious braided red and white cord (mizuhiki). This Daruma helps to ward off evil and disaster and takes on a cold on your behalf (migawari).
He is also called "Daruma whowards off evil" (yakuyoke Daruma 厄よけだるま).
When the year is over, you bring him back to the temple for consecration and apply for a new one.

The little Daruma is about 5 cm high and used to be made in Osaka buthe is now made in Kyoto and is usually called "Tiny Roly-Poly" (mameagari 豆上がり). His face is painted very simply and his head has a golden dot, therefore he is also called "Gold-headed Daruma" (kinten Daruma 金天だるま).

His existence is also based on a play of words. "To feel happiness" (yoro-kobu) becomes "Yoro-Konbu"; you feel happy about getting better after illness or if your daughter finds a good match. So the seaweed type called KONBU carries an auspicious meaning and is usually part of a meal at the New Year and other auspicious occasions.

. WKD- konbu 昆布 (こんぶ) kombu kelp .   


Himeji Toy Museum 姫路玩具博物館
671-3 Nakaniro, Kodera-cho, Himeji

The museum was founded in 1974. Thanks to its physical scale and the depth of its collection, the museum has become a model for toy museums in Japan. .
- HP : japan-toy-museum.org - English

Octopus Daruma 蛸だるま tako Daruma
Seaweed Daruma from Daikaku-ji, Amagasaki  and more
尼崎大覚寺のこんぶ達磨 などなど - see above

JAPANESE TOY MUSEUM (Nihon Gangu Hakubutsukan) in Kodera, close to Himeji. It features 6 storehouse-type buildings in a peaceful, pastoral landscape, and houses local toys from all over Japan and about 120 countries worldwide. It has a total of 70,000 items and its visitors come from all over the world.

The owner Mr. Inoue and his family are very kind and grandmother plays with the children at the many open toy corners within the large compounds. Since it has an extensive website I suggest you visit there first. It is a good place to spend a rainy day with your kids and it is very well marked with many road signs so you cannot get lost looking for it. Even without kids it is a most interesting and fun place to learn about Japan and the world.


Read more about Himeji Castle in my library:
Himeji Castle, by CHRIS BAMFORTH

CLICK for more photos

Himeji castle is the WHITE CASTLE, the white crane castle
shirasagi joo 白鷺城.
Its walls are all plastered, so that no fire arrows from the enemy could take hold. Even the wooden window poles are covered with metal and then plaster.
The heavy wooden doors are covered with metal plates, to make them impenetrable for fire arrows.

It is a world heritage site:
Himeji-jo is the finest surviving example of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture, comprising 83 buildings with highly developed systems of defence and ingenious protection devices dating from the beginning of the Shogun period. It is a masterpiece of construction in wood, combining function with aesthetic appeal, both in its elegant appearance unified by the white plastered earthen walls and in the subtlety of the relationships between the building masses and the multiple roof layers.
source : whc.unesco.org


The first station is Himeji 姫路 :
. Izumo Kaido 出雲街道 The Road of Izumo

WASHOKU . Dishes from Hyogo Prefecture and Himeji

. Folk Toys from HYOGO - Kobe, Himeji .

- #himejidolls #himejiyoys -



1 comment:

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Kanbei papermachee dolls from Himeji, made by 松尾隆

Kuroda Kanbei Yoshitaka 黒田官兵衛 孝高
(1546 - 1604)