Have you heard about the person who was called the first empress of Japan?
That person was Japan’s 14th emperor Chuai’s wife, Empress Consort Jingu. Empress Consort Jingu became Empress after the sudden death of her husband, Emperor Chuai. And despite being pregnant, she went into battle and attacked the ancient Korean kingdom on Silla, which it is said surrendered without struggle.
In Matsuyama, Ehime prefecture, there is a doll that was inspired by the Empress. Called ‘Princess-daruma’ (“Hime-daruma”), it is a one of Ehime’s traditional handicrafts.
Let’s start from the introduction of the workshop.
The Princess-daruma dolls are all handmade by the artisans.
The small, cute princess daruma doll has a diammeter of 6cm, a circumference of 18cm, and a height of 8cm. Reasonably priced, they make perfect souvenirs.
The lady pictured below has been making the dolls for 50 years and has earned the name Taishou (a name given to notable persons in the traditional craft of Princess-daruma dolls).
The sight of her making the dolls one by one with diligence is truly lovely.
There are two types of Princess-daruma doll. It may seem that there are male and female dolls, but actually both of them are the Empress (women).
There are various theories on the reason for the two types.
In the photograph below, the one in the red kimono is the Empress while pregnant. The one in black is said to be the Empress wearing men’s clothes when going into battle.
Therefore, the Princess-daruma doll wearing the red kimono is a talisman for prayers related to easy delivery, and for marriage, while the black version is popular for prayers related to victory, etc.
As they are thought to bring good fortune, in olden times, Princess-daruma dolls could be found decorating every house in Ehime prefecture.
While in Iyo Province, Empress Jingu found out that she was pregnant. A period of great happiness, the Empress would spend her days soaking in the waters of Dogo hot springs until she reached the stable period.
Created based on this legend, the dolls would be given as presents to women getting married and as talismans for easy delivery.
Around the Edo period, the dolls clothes were made together with the torso, from wood, but from around the mid-1950s (Showa 30), the clothes became the current gold brocade (a luxuriously beautiful piece of textile in which the patterns are weaved in by using either gilded paper or gold thread).
When the present emperor got married, this gift he sent to Her Royal Highness Michiko’s home became a hot topic and a great hit.
This is the new version of Princess-daruma doll called “Ai-chan”.
Straps and magnets and other Ai-chan goods are also popular.
The Ai-chan wish notes that fill wishes have also become a secret boom.
You can purchase them online, as well, so wishes can be sent from all over the country.
They will be offered to Dogo Isaniwa shrine that worships Empress Jingu.
Princess-daruma dolls, made one by one, wholeheartedly wishing for everyone’s happiness. A doll that envelops the way of life and heart of the legendary woman, Empress Jingu.
We hope that the tradition continues from here on, as well.
Shop for Princess-daruma dolls and other Japanese-style goods:
Location: 3-8-1 Okaido, Matsuyama city, Ehime Prefecture
(Right in front of the place for getting on the Matsuyama castle ropeway)
Business hours: 9:30~17:30
Holidays: Open everyday
HP: http://www.matsuyama-minatoya.jp/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Maki Oohashi
Give us your Like
> Speaking of Setouchi, the must-eat item is seafood! – A selection of 7 spots where you can try fresh seafood.
> A selection of 7 cafes and restaurants in Setouchi with superb scenery and views of the sea.
> A tranquil garden full of Japanese beauty and a huge carpet of green moss. / Gallery Teahouse Kokemushiro (Seiyo-shi, Ehime)
> 3 places for barhopping in Yokogawawhich carefully selected by a “hard-drinking” writer / Nice Yukari, Gohan-ya Haru-chan, and Trois Copain
> Please fully enjoy local sake brewed in Tokushima at the shop where you can “buy and drink.” / Taro Saketen (Tokushima-shi, Tokushima)
> A century-old Japanese house which an Onomichi merchant used as a villa has been renovated for accommodation. / The house rental “Kujira Bekkan” (Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima)
> An inn where you can find “ordinary Kobe” / Guesthouse MAYA (Kobe-shi, Hyogo)
> This could be the best choice for your stay in Awajishima! How about having a family trip while staying at a hot spring resort where you can get a great ocean view? / Hotel New Awaji Group (Sumoto-shi, Hyogo)
> Come and see, rail fans! A new base for a circular sightseeing tour in Shikoku, which is produced by JR SHIKOKU./ 4S STAY Awaikeda Sta.(Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima)
> Books, a bar, and international exchange!? 3 selections of hotel and guesthouses which have attractive little perks in the center of Hiroshima / (KIRO Hiroshima -THE SHARE HOTELS-, EN HIROSHIMA, and 36HOSTEL)
> Visit historic spots in the city center of Hiroshima on foot and learn about the history of peace (Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima)
> This is the ultimate soothing trip – feel the sense and the heart of Japan in Uchiko Town and Ozu City in Ehime.
> Beauty exists in every detailed corner of your eyesight! 8 spots where you can see wonderful views of Setouchi and its beautiful islands.
> Visiting the well-known “power spots” where mystical energy flows! This northern drive route visits temples, shrines, and cultural heritage sites in Tottori, Shimane, and Yamaguchi
> A continual stream of natural beauty which will make your heart tremble! The eastern drive route covers the best viewing spots in Okayama, Hyogo, and Tokushima
> Let’s enjoy a liberating new Setouchi voyage by “SEA SPICA”!
> The last report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi -Vol.5. STU48 members attended the launching ceremony. / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi -Vol.4. STU48 members paint the ship’s logo! / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the merging of the superstructure and the base of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi Vol.3 by members of STU48 / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi. Vol.2 shows you the “Reversal Procedure” where the ship is turned over. / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> Shimanami Kaido - Cyclist's Paradise
> Onomichi U2 and the Giant Store – the perfect partners for enjoying the Shimanami Kaidō
> Eating, Cycling & Getting Warm : Akiyoshidai Karst Road (Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)
> Kasaoka Island Hopping by Bike : A perfect 2-day trip! (Okayama)
> A Rare Lighthouse & Spelunking!? Traversing Ogijima by Bicycle! (Ogi, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture)
> “ONOMARU SHOUTEN” is the shop which has all of Onomichi’s fascinations. / JR Onomichi Ekisha (Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima)
> Kobe Shopping: 3 Distinct Local Brands to Bring Home（Kobe, Hyogo）【PR】
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
> “Meika Shitatsuzumi, ”a Japanese sweet from Yamaguchi which is soft, pleasant and melty on your tongue / San-in-do (Yamaguchi-shi, Yamaguchi)
> Let’s enjoy taking a walk down the shopping street near Matsuyama Castle./Matsuyama Ropeway Shopping Street (Matsuyama-shi, Ehime Prefecture)
See more articles about "Art"ArtList
Kobe City Himeji City Amagasaki City Akashi City Nishinomiya City Sumoto City Ashiya City Itami City Aioi City Toyooka City Kakogawa City Ako City Nishiwaki City Takarazuka City Miki City Takasago City Kawanishi City Ono City Mita City Kasai City Sasayama City Yabu City Tanba City Minamiawaji City Asago City Awaji City Shiso City Kato City Tatsuno City Inagawa Taka Inami Harima Ichikawa Fukusaki Kamikawa Taishi Kamigori Sayo Kami Shinonsen
- Okayama Pref.
- Hiroshima Pref.
- Yamaguchi Pref.
- Tokushima Pref.
- Kagawa Pref.
- Ehime Pref.