Back to index page!
 
 

On this page: 
Antique and vintage
Dollmakers in Japan
Modern geisha, kabuki, children, etc
Craft kits
Today's doll artists
This page was designed and is maintained 
by Judy Shoaf, jshoaf@clas.ufl.edu
Please let me know if there is a link 
that is no longer valid,  or one that you know of that should be added! 
Ningyo for Sale
I do not endorse  any of the businesses linked here. I have found their sites interesting as a place to explore further how Japanese dolls were made and how they are still being made today! 

The links on this page will, certainly, be useful for those interested in contacting dealers, in buying a brand-new or a certified antique ningyo. The dealers might also be able to help someone who has an antique ningyo to sell. 

The question I most often get in  emails related to these pages is "How much is my doll worth?" The answer is: it's worth what someone will pay for it. The appeal of the individual doll to the individual buyer may make a huge difference in what it is worth. The links below may help serve as a guideline for what professionals expect to get for some types of ningyo. 

Note that brand-new ningyo are very expensive indeed, generally speaking. They are an item of conspicuous consumption in Japan. ALL Japanese ningyo are handmade to some extent, and many of them are made with very fine materials and accessories designed to scale. 

Another place to look for the prices of vintage dolls, and perhaps to buy or sell, is eBay Auctionweb. The Dolls, Antiques, and Collectibles--Asian Dolls categories can be searched to find out what is available and what prices some dolls are fetching. My own feeling, after a few years of using ebay, is that, while age and condition are significant, the individual charm of a doll is what sells it! 
 

Dealers in antique Japanese dolls with online photo sites:

Several members of  TROCADERO - Antiques, Fine Art & Collectibles Online Directory and Mall have some ningyo among their offerings.

See especially JDollCollector

L'Asie Exotique Home Page--a particularly knowledgeable proprietor means there is information--archives of illustrated articles-- as well as wonderful photos of antique ningyo for sale.
Harumi Antiques in Tokyo is no longer selling dolls, but they have left their site online.  Among their rich archives are two marvelous ningyo pages, with many dolls for sale on each:
 This month's feature: DOLLS
This month's feature: BUNRAKU DOLLS
 Antique Japanese Dolls Alan's Pate's business site, plus his publications, some of which are online here.
Welcome To East & Beyond, Ltd.'s World Wide Web Site --Two hina pairs and a magnificent Samurai puppet, for sale.
Japan Textiles and Tours offers a selection of goods, including antique and classic dolls, and the opportunity to travel in Japan and buy one's own!
Kamimura Gallery --another changing site, which may or may not include ningyo.
Kiku Imports stocks antique and vintage dolls (listed by number in the left navigation pane).
 
The dollmaking tradition in Japan. Certain companies and family traditions have continued to the present day.
Rinkya Japanese Auctions has a nice history of the hina doll celebration, with details of all the usual dolls and items,  with the special attraction that the illustrations are Yahoo Japan! auction items on which Rinkya will bid for you. Interesting categories to browse are Japanese Palace Dolls (=Gosho), Japanese Fashion Dolls (Ichimatsu), Hina Dolls, Gogatsu (Boys' Day) Dolls, and , for folk dolls of all kinds, Japanese Dolls All Dolls.
Yoshitoku Doll Company  (all-Japanese site):  One of the important dollmakers of this century.
Kyugetsu Doll Company (mostly Japanese site): Another major dollmaker.
Maruhei  or Ohki Heizo (Oki Heizo) Doll Company:  A very old Kyoto dollmaker (founded 1779), famed for the high quality of their hina dolls and other dolls. I can't find a website for them but googling these terms turns up some fine dolls.
World of Menya Shoho (English site in Japan): The dollmaker's title Mensho has been passed down for 14 generations, since the late 17the century. The current dollmaker is Junzo Okamoto and this site gives his perspective on his art and examples of his work.

 
 
Links to sites that offer a variety of dolls, particularly representing theater themes or children:
Art Craft Japan is an online store with a selection of theatrical characters, Hakata dolls, and displays of samurai helmets.
Japanese Handcrafts Shop is set up to sell both geisha-type costume dolls and Hakata dolls.
 Hirotaya Doll Store --many types of dolls, including hina, and gifts.
CD Japan has some cute kimekomi dolls, mostly of children.
Clay hinas--Japanese-language site with some delightful pairs for sale.
Zen-shop has a variety of hina dolls and others; also check for samurai dolls, doll cases, and screens for display.
 
Today's Doll Artists
  • Darla's Original Dolls --a young woman in Japan has a beautiful page for the traditional dolls she and her teacher make. 
  • Future gallery of modern Japanese doll artists --a site attempting to collect pictures of modern Japanese doll art
  • Mann Gallery --features four contemporary Japanese doll artists, working in untraditional styles. 
  •  KOKUHO --a site for the traditional Japanese crafts of "National Living Treasures" artists, including the ningyo artists AKIYAMA Nobuko  and ICHIHASHI Toshiko .
  •  
    Doll Craft kits, lessons, and materials online
  • Mataro Doll Academy English-language site--famous for kimekomi doll kits as well as finished dolls.
  • San Francisco East Bay Miyabaki is a club for making kimekomi dolls, with classes, shows, etc.
  • Washington Japanese Doll and Crafts School,   Potomac, MD,  Akiko Keene - Gago Master Professor--the lessons are local but they probably sell craft kits as well, including Japanese paper craft kits.. Many kimekomi and mixed-media dolls to admire.
  • Japanese Dolls by Nadia - Classes For Handmade Dolls --a source for materials and lessons for kimekomi doll making. 
  • Welcome to Fascinating Folds--a general source for paper and folding instruction.
  • And--here is a site where you can order some origami doll kits!  Search the products of Kim's Crane on the term  "doll kit."
  • Eastwind Art Patterns include charming chirimen bag dolls and other  ningyo.
  • John Marshall Main Page --this textile artist has classes on making  egg dolls, origami hina, and "triangle dolls." Wonderful textiles!

  •