Japanese Dolls in  Western arms

A glimpse of the Japanese dolls that real children played with. On another page we present a special case: Shirley Temple and her Japanese dolls; and see the Babe Ruth photo.. Another page is devoted to some French "studio" photos including Japanese dolls, and yet another to Japanese dolls in literature, theater, and opera.

French child

Picture from an 1874 French book of a child with an ichimatsu.

Photo of doll collection

1885, US

Large doll collection includes Japanese doll, also European Oriental doll in "Chinese" dress. 
Click for whole image.

Photograph by Alexander Black, "A Large Family of Small Children"

Photo illustrating an article "The Amateur Camera", St. Nicholas Magazine XIV (July 1887)

Marjorie Gray Photo, 1887

This mounted photo was inscribed as a greeting card in 1887. Evidently Marjorie had been ill (her hair is cropped), but she has a marvelous dollhouse and doll collection. In the corner behind her are three blonde dollies and one good-sized Japanese doll.
Click for whole image.

Mrs. Cassidy and Mary

photograph, ca. 1890, Japan

Sokuda photographer, Sizuoka Japan


Kathleen Tamagawa

Photograph, 1894, US

"To be a Japanese doll was not so difficult at the age of one as it proved later."
Frontispiece of her autobiography, Holy Prayers in a Horse's Ear.

Kathleen Tamagawa was born in Chicago, her mother's home town; her father was Japanese, and when she was a teenager the family moved to Japan. Her autobigraphy is a fascinating reflection on race as "belonging"--fitting into a culture.

Basketball team
Photograph, 1901, US

7 young women pose in middy uniforms with two tiny ichimatsu dolls. Perhaps the dolls were mascots.

Child with doll, 190-(?)

Photograph from a New Jersey studio.
Click for whole image.

Baby with doll

photograph, 190-, US

Child posed holding a little ichimatsu as if she had been looking at it. Perhaps it was her own or perhaps the photographer used it as a prop. 
Taken in Fargo, North Dakota.

French child

Postcard photograph, dated as a New Year's card, 1925


Mother, child and doll

Photo postcard, 193-?

This is a photo that was made into a postcard but never sent. Presumably it is American. It seems likely, from the style of the doll and of the woman's dress, that it dates either from the  1930s or from the period of the Occupation (when it might have been made up to send to the person who had sent the doll to the baby).