Friday, February 20, 2009

My Little Japanese Doll

I bought this little charming 9-inch doll several years ago and just came across her in one of my doll storage boxes. I opened the box and there she was looking up at me with her shy smile. I picked up her delicate little body and tucked her in my pocket and took her home.

She sat on a self in my living room for a few weeks. One day I walked by her and thought - What is she about? What is her history? She needs a little loving touch...a little loving care...

Off she came with me to my studio. I wrote a woman by the name of Rosalie, who knows a lot about Japanese Dolls. She was kind enough to answer my questions of who was this little doll.

Rosalie's reply was...
My (poor) little Japanese Doll was one of many made in the style of the FD- she is called Ichimatsu, because of her movable limbs. Her hand-sewn kimono seems to be made from the 1940's. Her skin is made of ground shells and glue called gofun.


My sweet little Ichimatsu needed a bit of tender loving care. I usually do not repair vintage dolls to new. I find their true beauty is in their wear and "patina". But she needed just a bit of care and another arm!
So I made her a new arm from Stone-clay, stabilized and flipped her obi around a bit, and added small pieces of fabric to her hair bun. (I used the back side of the fabric for an aged look). Since I could not wash her little face because of the gofun, I used an eraser and gently "scrubbed" her face, hand, and feet. I added just the slightest bit of lip color.
Her name is now...Ichimatsu Kanmi...meaning A Touch of Sweetness! ...and she is back at home on my living room shelf!

I just love her and isn't that what dolls are all about?

4 comments:

  1. Your little doll reminds of several I have sitting in my display case. And you know the one I bought from you was a nice addition to the ones I all ready had. Some I got from my mom, some I found myself and one I bought from you. Love your Friday posts. ;-)

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  2. Hi from Denver!
    I just found your blog and plan to read more.

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  3. I got a Japanese doll like that from my uncle who traveled overseas. She is in a wooden box with a 2 different style wigs. And I think she also had a loose or missing hand. I haven't thought about here is years-I'm going to find her and do some freshing up.

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  4. i like fixing them, i think i love their vintage look, but also can't see them get more and more deteriorated,i would fix her hair and her face a little, she would apreciate it i think..

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