Now a recognized subsection of culture abroad, manga has attracted people from all around the world. What may be less well known, however, is another interesting part of Japanese culture — ball-jointed dolls and the artists who make them. Gallery parabolica-bis in Tokyo’s Yanagibashi, Taito Ward, brings these two worlds together in an exhibition celebrating the manga series “Rozen Maiden.”
Originally serialized in 2002, “Rozen Maiden,” by art duo Peach-Pit, has spread out to novels, art books, anime and even video games. The story revolves around an agoraphobic male middle school student who encounters a living doll. She, and the other Rozen Maiden dolls, compete to become their vision of the perfect girl.
It isn’t difficult to imagine how a story such as this resonates with many people, and not just fans of Asian ball-jointed dolls. The dolls, which are articulated with ball-and-socket joints are cast out of either resin or porcelain and can be realistic, manga-influenced or a combination of both. In tribute to the manga series, parabolica-bis has created the “Rozen Maiden Exhibition,” which features handcrafted ball-jointed dolls, art, clothing and accessories by various well-known creators such as Koitsukihime, Gin Nishiori, Junko Koike, Yusuke Hoashi and more.
On sale at the exhibition are selections of limited-edition teas in collaboration with Leafull Darjeeling House. Flavors are inspired by the dolls, and each tea features a special illustrated label. Moreover, on June 15 and June 28 from 3 p.m. participants can take part in a Rose Tea Party where then can enjoy a selection of sweets and rose blend tea.
“Rozen Maiden Exhibition” at parabolica-bis runs from June 7 to July 7; open Mon.-Fri., 1 p.m.-8 p.m. (Sat., Sun., holidays 12 p.m.-7 p.m). Admission is ¥500. Reservations are required for the Rose Tea Party (¥3,500) and can be made at bit.ly/jtparab. For more information, visit bit.ly/jtparab2.