This page is dedicated to commercial illustrations (usually published in magazines) which include Japanese dolls. In most cases,a detail of the full picture is shown; click on it to see the entire picture.

For book illustrations, see the Japanese dolls in books page and the Picture Books page.
For illustrations to Japanese fairy stories that include dolls, see the Japanese Fairy Tales page.
For illustrated poems, see the Poems page.

Wingy Wing Foo

From Harper's Young People, 12/7/1880. 

Author of poem: C. A. D. W.
Illustrator: Church

The doll illustrated is clearly Japanese--note the toes. However, his name is faux-Chinese.The description in the poem is purely physical (and meant to evoke physical repulsiveness)--yellow skin, almond eyes, shaven head--but also moral: he is "bright" and feels deeply his "sad fate" of being far from home. There is no mention of his being Japanese.

For a doll who looks quite a bit like Wingy, see the Y-do-I puppet.


Santa Claus

Harper's Weekly, 1881, US

Thomas Nast

The famous Harper's image of Santa with a Japanese doll under his arm.

The  M.P.'s Daughter

Illustrated London News, 1885, UK

A. M. Rossi (this may be the same artist as illustrated Madame Chrysanthème)

"Politics in the Nursery: The M. P.'s Daughter Addressing the Electors," i.e., 3 dolls, one of which is a fine Ichimatsu. The girl might be a portrait; very short boyish hair.

The picture has interesting political implications, since Britain was one of the countries most eager to ally itself with Japan. Like the girl dolls, however, who would not be given the vote for 35 years, the Japanese doll is an unlikely "elector."

The Japanese Dolls 

Albertine Randall 
St. Nicholas Magazine XIV, July 1887 
pp. 704-705 

In this poem by Clara Dolliver the Japanese dolls come alive at night to speak. The lady doll speaks about her grand ideas of herself, and the three Japanese babies talk about fun and play.

"With dollies of rank and grace, 
And dollies of low degree."

Doll's Complaint

Illustrated poem, no signature 

St. Nicholas magazine, 1887
The Japanese doll, like the others, seems a creature of great elegance.

Stories of little girls and their dolls  selected from St. Nicholas magazine by    William C. Carroll.
(Honesdale, Pa. : Carolyn House : Boyds Mills Press, 1998)

"Among the Japs"

Louis Wain, 1888

Illustrated London News 12/29/1888; The "Truth" Doll-Show merits a large full-page spread with four ichimatsu (wearing Western shoes, though) taking up about an eighth of the total. Also three fancy blondes labelled "3 little maids from school," evoking the popularity of Gilbert and Sullivan's play The Mikado.

Louis Wain became famous for his cat paintings and illustrations. He seems to have the faces right but he put shoes on these dolls.

Fashionable dolls

Illustration, magazine, 1891, France

La Mode Illustree magazine, 11/29/1891

Features a "geisha doll" in the midst of a fantasia of child dolls riding horse, lamb, etc.

Print (framed), artist unknown, 190-, US

Laughing child holds brightly dressed ichimatsu. Doll has shoes.

This may in fact be a magazine illustration or some kind of premium.

The Music Lesson

Little girl gives a music lesson to "Jappy" in a brief vignette called "The Music Lesson": no author, no illustrator, published in The Santa Claus Story Picture Book (M.A. Donohue & Co., Chicago, New York, no date).  The book was given as a gift in 1927, but it seems to be a collection of materials from an earlier period (perhaps public domain). 

The Jappy Doll

anon. illustration to a poem by Clifton Bingham (d. 1913)

This poem has two illustrations, which present the Japanese doll stylized with an extremely large spherical head; in the picture at right the doll also has very slanting eyes, though not in the other drawing. Nevertheless, the jointed feet and "jolly" quality of the dolls evokes actual Japanese dolls, and fits the poem's theme of affection for "Jappy."

The poem with illustrations was printed in several colelctions; this copy comes from the same book as "The Music Lesson," above.


Nora Has Her Dolls to Tea

Illustration by Edith Scannell (fl.1870-1903),  US 
2010: see the new Edith Scannell page. .

"Nora" is placed as if to illustrate "Tramp and Trinkets Abroad" by Mary Catherine Crowley, in a collection called Hop o' My Thumb published by Lothrop, Boston (no date). There is no Nora in the story, which is about little Flo, her doll, and her dog, travelling around the world. They do visit Japan and there is an interesting description of the Doll Festival. However, the illustrations there (apparently by another artist) are disappointing, in that they do not show any festival dolls, just more ichimatsu. (see right).

Auld Lang Syne

Illustration by John Richards, St Nicholas Magazine, 1890s?, US

Comic image of Japanese doll leading old toys in chorus, "Should old acquaintance be forgot?" to little girl with new blonde dolly.

Stories of little girls and their dolls  selected from St. Nicholas magazine by    William C. Carroll.
(Honesdale, Pa. : Carolyn House : Boyds Mills Press, 1998)

Little Folks' Speaker

Frontispiece, artist unknown 190-?US

Frontispiece of collection of recital pieces shows mother and 2 children (?) admired by an audience of 2 dolls, one Japanese--only the tops of the dolls' heads show.

Whose Dolly Is You?

Mary Sigsbee Ker
illustration to a poem by Burges Johnson

This poem was published in a magazine but the date is not evident. The hostile attitude of the baby to the Japanese doll
 is echoed in another poem by Johnson, "The Missionary's Daughter."

Hushy Baby

no author, artist
1902 booklet Jingles

A lovely illustration from a 10-page booklet of similar children's verses and illustrations. Dated by an advertisement on the back.

The Tea-Set Blue

St. Nicholas Magazine
poem: Rose Mills Power
Illustrations: Edith S. Green

This poem takes up the theme of the multicultural doll family, enumerating the imagined  reactions of each toy to the prospect of a tea party. Among these, 

The Japanese doll from overseas
Tries hard to look his best.

Stories of little girls and their dolls  selected from St. Nicholas magazine by    William C. Carroll.
(Honesdale, Pa. : Carolyn House : Boyds Mills Press, 1998

Tea Party

Print, 1904 

Victorian-looking girl in blue dress pours tea at adult table for 4 dolls, including one Japanese.

Jessie Wilcox Smith (American, 1863-1935)

Woman's Home Companion 7/12

Beautiful cover with baby holding a small ichimatsu, by one of the most famous of American children's illustrators.

Susan B. Pearse (British, 1878-1980)
Watercolor 1920?

Beautiful illustration of the number 3. Probably a birthday card or counting book.
Thanks to Anita Crousser for permission to use this image.

For more of Susan B. Pearse's pictures with Japanese dolls, my Susan B. Pearse page.

Who Ate the Dolls' Dinner? 

John Martin's Magazine, Nov. 1920

Two illustrations (no name in evidence for the illustrator) to a story in which a Japanese doll figures. The doll has no name but is designated as the "Japanese maid" of the "Lady doll." This recalls the role of Bel San (and the Dinah doll) in Binkie and the Bell Dolls. The story emphasizes the idea of the little mother who washes, bakes, etc. for her doll "children."

Annie Benson Muller

Lovely cover of The Modern Priscilla 12/22 showing a toddler girl in a fur hood. Note how yellow he doll's skin looks comparted to the baby's, and how exaggerated the slant of the eyes is (whereas actual Japanese dolls tend to have eyes set in a straight line and simple arched eyebrows).