Ningyo : The Art of the Japanese Doll

4.56 (16 ratings by Goodreads)
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Ningyo: The Art of the Japanese Doll features over 250 unique photographs as well as extensive commentary and background history.

Japanese dolls (ningyo) have played an important role in Japanese art and culture since its earliest stages of development, as talismanic figures, centerpieces, in elaborate festivals, medical study tools, theater distractions, decorative objects, and avidly collected art forms, as well as childhood playthings. Ningyo: The Art of the Japanese Doll is the most comprehensive book on antique Japanese dolls and figurines published in English. The book focuses on the many types of Japanese dolls:

gosho: palace dolls
hina: Girl's Day dolls
musha: warrior dolls for the Boy's Day Festival
isho: fashion dolls

The principal forms of the dolls and their history, stylistic development, cultural context, and economic imperatives are discussed against the backdrop of Edo-period society and popular culture. Beautifully detailed color photographs of ningyo drawn from private collections, many of which are published here for the first time, as well as images of related materials selected from celebrated museums and temple collections, such as folding screens, woodblock prints, sculpture, painting ceramics, and textiles, help place the dolls in context. Ningyo: The Art of the Japanese Doll is a fascinating book for anyone interested in Asian doll art and doll collecting.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 229 x 305 x 27.94mm | 1,842g
  • Boston, United States
  • English
  • Reissue
  • 250 color photos and b&w images
  • 0804847355
  • 9780804847353
  • 2,014,935

Review quote

"For those who love knowing everything they can about the history of dolls or who have an interest specifically in the history of Japanese dolls, this is a must read. Since reading, I definitely would like to see some of these dolls in person one day. It opened my eyes up to a whole new era of dolls and makes me appreciate and understand the importance of dolls in Japanese culture a little more." -Dolly Confessions blog 'Ningyo explores everything from the nature of materials used to create the dolls, to what they teach us about people from that period, to their spiritual purpose. This beautiful book is a must-have for any fan of Japanese culture. -Sophie's Japan Blog "The author's knowledge is undeniable; his description for each doll featured is in depth. He meticulously examines their history and, in many cases, their craftsmanship. It's a work of art in its own right and is a truly worthy book that belongs in everyone's library." -Diverse Japan blog
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About Alan Scott Pate

Alan Pate was born in Florida and studied in France, Korea and the US. He has an MA in East Asian Studies from Harvard University. He is the owner of the Japanese antique firm Akanezumiya in St Ignatius, Montana, specializing in the religious and figural art of Japan from the Edo period and earlier. He is the leading expert on Japanese dolls in the US, where he has curated exhibitions and lectured extensively. He has also published widely in journals focusing on Japanese antiques. He has been appointed Guest Curator for an exhibition on important US collections of Japanese dolls to be held at the Mingei International Museum in San Diego, CA, in 2005.

Photographer, Lynton Gardiner is a professional photographer based in New York, specializing in museum work. He has photographed for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is the principal photographer for catalogs published by the Mingei International Museum. His photographs have appeared in several art books.
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Rating details

16 ratings
4.56 out of 5 stars
5 75% (12)
4 12% (2)
3 6% (1)
2 6% (1)
1 0% (0)
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