japanese dolls exhibition

shapes of prayer, embodiments of love


Islamabad: 7th January, 2015
The Japan Foundation in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan in Pakistan and the Pakistan National Council of the Arts is presenting a novel exhibition titled “The Dolls of Japan- Shapes of prayer, Embodiments of Love” here at the National Art Gallery in Islamabad. The exhibition which has been inaugurated today, Wednesday 7th January by Mr. Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, will remain open for public viewing till 30th of January 2015.
More than 70 dolls displayed under the theme “Shapes of Prayer, Embodiments of Love”, have been sent by the Japan Foundation. Japanese dolls known traditionally “Ningyo (human shape)” are a unique cultural symbol because of their rich history and association with the Japanese way of life. They reflect the customs of Japan and the aspirations of its people, possess distinctive regional attributes, and over the centuries have developed in many diverse forms. Dolls also provide a showcase for traditional Japanese craft products, such as textiles.
Ambassador Hiroshi Inomata while speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the exhibition said dolls have been important to the Japanese culture for centuries. They reflect the history of Japan from prehistoric to modern times. Some dolls were thought to have religious meaning or mystical powers while others were appreciated for their beauty.
Japan enjoys a rich culture and long history of dolls. Each doll has its own distinct meaning and purpose, and is deeply connected to daily life. The history of dolls is long, with the oldest known doll in the world dating back nearly 24,000 years. The origin of Japanese dolls is also extremely old, beginning in the Jomon period about 3,000 BC. But it is only since the Edo period (1603-1868) that dolls have taken on a wide variety of forms and purposes, and many different types have been produced – as the embodiment of spirits to be worshipped, as objects endowed with magical powers, as playthings in human form, or simply for the purpose of display and appreciation.
Ambassador Inomata said the purpose of showcasing this exhibition is to give the visitors a close glimpse of the versatility and individuality of the traditional and cultural life of Japanese people through these artistic handmade objects. The ambassador added that “As no matter how much progress we make in the world through our up-to-date machines and robots, we Japanese, still keep intact with our traditions and values. For instance these handcrafted dolls are still significant for us today as they were for our ancestors”.  (End)