Antique Japanese Fushimi Doll – Fukakusa Ebisu Ningyo

Antique Japanese Fushimi ceramic figure. Dolls such as this are thought to have originated in the town of Fushimi near the ancient imperial capital of Kyoto. The figures were first manufactured around the start of the Edo period (1600-1868) and were sold to pilgrims visiting the famous Fushimi Inari Shinto shrine (Shinto is the native religion of Japan). The dolls were thought to possess power from the shrine which would bless the homes of the returning pilgrims, and thus Fushimi dolls have always been appreciated as spiritual gifts. Fushimi dolls are also sometimes called Fukakusa or Inari dolls and are considered one of the top three varieties of traditional Japanese fire clay dolls. Sadly, these dolls are one of Japan’s disappearing crafts, as while there were once as many as twenty kilns in Fushimi dedicated to the creation of these figures, there remains today in this town only one.

About the Listed Item

This authentic ceramic Fushimi doll dates from the Japanese Meiji period (1868-1912) and is today in fair condition with no cracks though the doll does have a large chip in the back as well as smaller chips and many marks and scratches from handling. The doll also wears a darkened patina suggestive of its age and many years of past display. This figure depicts the Japanese luck god Ebisu who is often seen in the company of a large fish (please read below to learn more about Ebisu).

Height: 5.5 inches (14.0 cm)
Weight: 13.1 ounces (374 grams)

More about Ebisu

Ebisu is Japan’s god of fisherman, the morning sun and one of the seven popular luck gods within the Shinto pantheon. Ebisu is also sometimes regarded as the protector of small children, a role he shares with the Buddhist deity Jizo. Legend holds the Ebisu was once a real man (a fisherman in fact) who rescued a boneless (it’s a long story) god named Hiruko from the sea. Ebisu (who’s full name at that time was Ebisu Saburo) went on to live a life full of troubles after which point he become a Shinto deity. Ebisu has always been popular in Japan and images of this happy, ever smiling deity are found everywhere in art, masks and statuary. Ebisu is sometimes depicted holding a long fishing rod in his right hand and a large sea bream (tai) fish under his left arm. Ebisu is often seen with another famous Shinto luck god Daikoku who is reputed to be Ebisu’s father. Ebisu and Daikoku are both members of the Shichifukujin group of seven luck gods. These famous gods (six male and one female) are frequently seen together in Japanese art, often in a boat sailing the seas of fortune. Ebisu is unique among the seven as the only god who is native to Japan, the other gods all tracing their origins to religious traditions within other cultures.

item code: R3S1B2-0002859
ship code: G3


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About softypapa
I love to walk and think.

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