Japanese Folk Toy Simple Wooden Articulated Benta Doll

Japanese Folk Toy Simple Wooden Articulated Benta Doll


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This piece measures 6" tall. This is the "Benta Doll" from "Hinagu" of Kumamoto Prefecture of Japan. She is a rustic round wooden doll made of Kiri (Paulownia) wood with vivid paint that is reminiscent of famous Kokeshi dolls of northern Japan. Separate wooden legs and arms are attached to the body with red cloth so that they articulate. T are various sizes available and some of them come as tall as 8" high and girls used to play by carrying it on their back.

Hinagu is a famous hot spring resort of Kumamoto Prefecture of Japan and many folk toys have been made as the souvenir for the tourists and Benta doll is one of them. T used to be many craftsmen to produce these various toys from 1870's to early 1930's but they are all but gone except Kuwabara Kenjiro and his family. The name Benta derives from the name of the original creator of this doll "Benta" during the Bunsei period (1818-1830). He was said to be a Korean immigrant using remnant Kiri wood material from Geta
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