Hariko papier mâché figures, twelve ‘junishi’ Japanese zodiac animals

Welcome to 2018, the year of the Dog! 

This is a collection of loveable vintage 1970s/1980s Kurashiki Hariko papier mâché figures representing the twelve Japanese ‘Junishi’ zodiac animals. The figures are painted in vibrant colors and have expressive, detailed faces and animated postures.

Kurashiki, a city in Okayama prefecture, is renowned for its mingei folk craft, ‘Hariko’, the Japanese style of papier mâché. Every process used in making the figures is done by hand, including the wooden molds. Whole sheets of washi paper are used, (not torn as in the western style of the craft), thereby creating quite a smooth surface. Six to seven layers of wet washi are pasted over molds. After drying for a few days, the doll is cut into halves and the mold is removed. The halves are pasted back together, painted and then lacquered.

One of the most popular designs is the tiger as it is a tradition in the Kurashiki area to present a Hariko tiger to a newborn baby boy. Other popular figures include zodiac animals and figures from folk tales.

Dog (inu) 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
Boar (inoshishi) 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019
Rat (nezumi) 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020
Ox (ushi) 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
Tiger (tora) 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
Rabbit (usagi) 1975. 1987, 1999, 2011
Dragon (tatsu) 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
Snake (hebi) 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
Horse (uma) 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
Sheep (hitsuji) 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
Monkey (saru) 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
Rooster (tori) 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017


Please visit my Etsy store to see my collection of vintage and antique Japanese treasures.

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'Styled in Japan': an online shop that specializes in fashionable anti-UV parasols; an Etsy shop that features a unique collection of retro, vintage and antique Japanese treasures sourced from temple and flea markets in the Kansai area.

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