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Doll - Artifacts

Boy's Day Doll depicting Benkei on the Gojyo Bridge A: Doll, H: 7.5", W: 6.125", D: 2.75", standing with legs apart on top of a stand with bridge post. Bald head molded from wood paste and dipped in gofun (oyster shell powder), reddish flesh to show his lower social status; wrinkles above his nose are curved, his chin and shaved part of pate are painted in gray; pursed lips with downturned corners are painted red; thick upward eyebrows, flamboyant moustaches appear to be made of silk fiber embedded into slots; inset glass eyes with brown iris and upswept shape. Wears papier mache armour with on back, chest, shoulders and below the waist; armour is tiered and laced with red cord and white/black flat silk flat braid at the bottom of the edges and brown tapes are laced over most of the armour to join the tiers together. Top of the breastplate is decorated with an embossed brass strip, 2 brass chrysanthemum shaped bosses with ring at center are attached at the upper sides; back armour has one brass boss as described at the upper center; shoulder armour has V knotched strips covering half way across the armour at the middle, has a ring on the other edge. Orange cord with tassels run through the shoulder and back rings and are tied decoratively. At the top and around the chest armour is a papier mache piece in brown and black with gold edging functions as suspenders. At the front joints a pair of chrysanthemum shaped metal bosses are attached. Upper arm guard made of bronze painted papier mache is glued to left sleeve. The knee armour is painted in gold, laced with orange tapes except one line in white and brown. His outer garment seen at sleeves is olive and brown brocade, with silver metal color; papier mache arm and hand protectors which are tied with white cord at wrists; gloved hands are painted with a white and red floral design on an olive colored background. Green silk brocade kimono with brown and olive leaves is seen at the collar. Undergarments of two layers of white plain silk can be seen at the collar. Gray damask pants bottoms are tucked inside leggings; upper portion of knee armour is made of brocade pieces with a circular motif in yellow and green and a dark gray floral design on ivory background. Tabi are same material and design as breastplate suspenders. Shin protectors are black lacquer papier mache with 2 wide and narrow horizontal gold strips. Beneath shin guards are black cotton leggings with 3 tomoe (comma) motif. Tabi have laminated soles. One wood peg holder is missing. He wears a twisted white, black and olive green corded headband with loose ends tucked in underneath. B: Tachi sword, H: 9.125", W: 7.5", D: 5.25", painted brown scabbard, olive green thread wrapped handle with cap at top end. Wooden curved black sword is attached is back armour with purple cord. C: Black lacquered base has 4 inward curving legs with flat top. At the rear is a bridge post which is symbolic of Gojyo-n-o-Hashi Bridge where Benkei meets the future Minamoto Yoshitsune. The upper part of the post is a raindrop shape made of wood stained black and the column is left a natural wood color with varnish. The top of the base is slightly warped and has become unglued at the side of the frame.
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