Kyo-Ningyo – Dolls

As an offering today to
The lord and lady dolls
Freshly opened blossoms–
The joy of countless springs
Is once again ours.


The first evidence of Japanese dolls dates from the Jomon Period. However, Kyoto dolls (kyo-ningyo) became popular during the Heian Period, when they were thought to bring luck and health to children.

Ningyō (lit. “human form”) are one of the traditional Japanese crafts.

There are various types of traditional dolls, some representing children and babies, some the imperial court, warriors and heroes, fairy-tale characters, gods and (rarely) demons, and also people of the daily life of Japanese cities. Many have a long tradition and are still made today, for household shrines, for formal gift-giving, or for festival celebrations such as Hinamatsuri, the doll festival, or Kodomo no Hi, Children’s Day. Some are manufactured as a local craft, to be purchased by pilgrims as a souvenir of a temple visit or some other trip.

Gradually, the dolls became popular with daughters of aristocrats in the Imperial Court and the craft was further developed. Kyoto dolls are still one of the more popular Kyoto specialties.

Ando Doll Store