VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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"Oshirasama" collection
H0024955, H0024957, H0024979, H0024980
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Chosen and explained by Masaki KONDO "Destined Reunion?". Minpaku has 33 oshirasama collected by Koutarou OHTA who lives in Morioka city. They were first donated to the Attic Museum on 14th December in the year Showa 13 (1938). They were later moved to Minpaku. The inscriptions ‘New year of Keicho 4’ (1599) are inscribed on the two oldest dolls in our collection. The Attic Museum was later renamed the Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture (Nippon Jomin Bunka Kenkyusho). This institute was active up until the 1980s. I conducted research into tools all around Japan on behalf of the institute. Perhaps it was my destiny to encounter this classic collection again when I later joined Minpaku.

History of the Object
Oshirasama, the dolls of primitive religion, used to be deified in the houses of old, traditional families in the Tohoku region of northern Japan. The oldest example from Iwate prefecture is inscribed in Indian ink with the name of the Japanese era ‘Daiei 5’ (A.D. 1525). Many other Oshirasama from other Japanese eras, such as Tensho (from 1573 to 1591), Bunroku, and Keicho, have also been found in Iwate.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
wood and cloth 
Measurements
Width around 32 cm. Height around 15 cm. Length around 36 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Aomori and Iwate, Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 16th century ~ AD 16th century 
Creation date
From 16th Century 
Function
religious object 
Acquisition
Formerly acquired in 1938 and housed at the Attic Museum, transferred to National Museum of Ethnology, Japan in 1974. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
National Museum of Ethnology, Japan (Minpaku) 
Museum
National Museum of Ethnology 
Credit line
 

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