Takamatsu Yomeiri Ningyo; Clay Bridal Trousseau Dolls from Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, Shikoku Island. Set of 5 depicting auspicious images: Happy Couple, Dog, Rabbit, Ebisu with Tai (Sea Bream,) Dog with Tai. H. .75" to 1.125" (2cm-2.75cm) x W. .875" to 1.375" (2.25cm - 3.5cm;) painted clay, ca. 1972. Condition notes: .75cm paint chip on back of Ebisu, paint chipped away on fish of Dog with Tai figure. Others all in excellent condition.
Takamatsu Yomeiri (Bride entering marriage) Ningyo (Dolls) have a long tradition in Kagawa Prefecture, being produced and used since the late Edo Perid (1600-1868.) As in most of Japan, a woman entering marriage leaves her home to enter that of her new husband's. The dolls, roughly made of clay and painted by local artisans, were brought by the bride to children of her new neighborhood or family and given as gifts. The images themselves were auspicious signs for a long, happy, & fertile marriage: a happy couple, a dog (easy childbirth,) rabbit (fertility,) Ebisu with Tai fish (God of Abundance, good harvest/fishing, etc with a Tai [a play on the word "omedetai" - congratulations],) and a Dog with Tai. The tradition conditinues today although children are much less likely to use them as actual toys. They are treasured as collectibles by the receiving family and still given in the same spirit of hope for a happy and fruitful marriage by the new bride.