This fabulously attired 'ningyo' antique Japanese samurai doll is part of the 'gempuku' ceremony which was a rite participated in by every samurai male child sometime between the ages of ten and fifteen. The gempuku ceremony represented a boy's transition to manhood. Within the samurai classes, this was symbolized by the shaving of the front locks of hair and the wearing of adult clothing and the adoption of a new, adult name. The ningyo here is serious and martial, which typifies the Edo aesthetic. Edo samurai dolls were designed to convey the ideals that were central to the samurai culture, namely courage, strength and dedication. This doll has sumptuous, rich silken brocade kimono (kinran) and lustrous white 'gofun' face and hands. This is the defining feature of Japanese dolls and determines their quality and has no other equivalent in any other culture. Gofun is a white composite paste made from crushed oyster shells and glue mixed with water. When applied to hard surfaces and burnished it creates a lacquer-like surface, very smooth with a lustrous sheen. This doll has wild side hair and a Ho imperial hat, sword and spear. Fantastic. c.1860. (9" x 5½") (23cm x 14cm). EMS Shipping/Insurance to USA or Western Europe $55.