Hina Doll Imperial Couple (Japanese Dolls)

From The Brighton Toy and Model Index
Jump to navigationJump to search
Past Exhibit

Hina Doll Imperial Couple (Japanese Dolls)

BTMM map 019.gif
Arch Two , Area 19

Older than the complete Hina Doll set, the larger imperial dolls are dated to the late 1800s.


Lacking the entire set of matching Hina dolls (court ladies, musicians and ministers), these two Hina Dolls would be defined alone as Genroku-bina, due to their size and relation to one another. The emperor (situated at the top of the cabinet) wears a pale green and cream obi, while the empress (seated at the bottom of the cabinet) wears a red kimono, the large sleeves are indicative of a special occasion such as a marriage, and she holds a fan and wears an elaborate headdress, as would be appropriate for her royal position. The grey specks above eyebrows are symbols of divinity, and their seated ‘lotus’ position is a poise of relaxation, wealth and wellbeing, demonstrating their royal status. The pair are both crafted from wood with lacquered, gofun faces and hands, and can be dated to the early Meiji period (1868 – 1912) in which dolls of this nature were incredibly common.


Both the emperor and empress would have been crafted as part of a Hina Doll set for display during the Hinamatsuri, Girls’ Day, festival. They would have been imitations of living or historic emperors or empresses.