A doll from Tokyo

These beautifully painted ceramic dolls, available in a variety of shapes and sizes, are one of the best souvenirs to bring back home from a trip to Japan.
A doll from Tokyo
A doll from Tokyo

In Japan there is a doll for every ceremony and occasion&mdashand a number of different types of dolls are sold at most Shinto shrines. I bought this beautifully painted ceramic doll (one of many shapes) at the Sensoji Shrine in Tokyo, and ever since I&rsquove been puzzling about its purpose. It&rsquos hollow, and has a bead and a soundhole, so I suppose it&rsquos a bell though it&rsquos got more of a rattle than a ring. Maybe I&rsquoll take it back with me for the Hina Matsuri (doll festival). Till then it sits pretty in my faux bonsai garden.

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