Japanese Hat Girl Doll - Gofun Geisha
The hat girl is a traditional doll that is found in many styles. She typically is wearing a red hat and carrying six more hats. While some believe she is a hat vendor, the intricate embroidery of her outfit would seem to bely that. Rather, she is an elegant geisha, or highly trained entertainer. The six hats she wears are probably part of a performance she is about to give.
This particular Japanese hat girl doll was brought back from Japan by my uncle-in-law, when he returned from World War II. He gave the doll to my mother in law.
The doll has been displayed in a protected case, and is in a non-smoking household so it is free of smoke and dust. She wears an intricately embroidered red kimono with gold, silver, and white flowers in raised texture. Her belt, or obi, is decorated with red, black,a nd silver designs. Her hair is done up in an updo and tied with red and silver streamers.
The word "gofun" refers to the delicate hand painting which makes up her face. In ancient times it was clam shells, ground into a powder, which made up this substance. In modern times they tend to use oyster shells.
The doll is in fine condition, down to the decorative gold speckles on her hat and the delicate hair-do she wears. There is a tiny amount of wear on one of the corners of the black wood base she is attached to.
Here are photos of my Japanese Hat Girl Doll. Click on any one for a larger version of it. She is about 16 inches tall.
Note that you can find this exact same style of doll for sale today.
Japanese Doll Listing
Lisa's Japanese homepage
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