• Kyodo

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A museum devoted to dolls and other items from around the world, including Japanese dolls from the 17th to the 19th centuries, unveiled its extensive collection for the first time in the city of Saitama on Tuesday.

The media were shown the collection a month before the opening of the Iwatsuki Ningyo Museum, which is located in Iwatsuki Ward, home to Japan’s leading makers of traditional hina dolls.

“We have collected traditional hina dolls and court dolls. We would like people to see the high quality of our exhibition,” Koichi Hayashi, the museum’s director, told reporters.

The museum’s display includes other objects from the Edo period, including a dog-shaped inubako box that was part of a set given to upper-class brides of the time.

Dog-shaped makeup boxes, called inubako, from the Edo period are displayed at Iwatsuki Ningyo Museum in the city of Saitama. | KYODO
Dog-shaped makeup boxes, called inubako, from the Edo period are displayed at Iwatsuki Ningyo Museum in the city of Saitama. | KYODO

Used to keep makeup, the box was also a good luck charm for the safe delivery of children.

The museum, which possesses more than 5,000 items, is the only public institution in Japan devoted to dolls and says it will collect, conserve and carry out research on dolls and the culture around them.

The single-story museum, which occupies around 2,000 square meters, was constructed by the city at a cost of around ¥4.2 billion ($38 million).

It will open to the public Feb. 22 with a general admission fee of ¥300.

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