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Lion (Shishi) Folk Toy

Object ID: 1983.002.002
Object: Toy, colors on papier-mache
Place of Origin: Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan
Artist: Miyauchi Fusa (1883-1986)
Signature: Miyauchi Fusa kyūjū-yon-sai
Date: Shōwa Period, dated 1976
Size: 8x8x4
Credit: museum purchase

Takamatsu papier-mâché toy-making tradition is said to date from the middle of 17th century. Young brides of the area once distributed such toys as favors to neighborhood children when taking up residence in their husband’s homes. The motif represented here, shishi (lion), carries connotations of good fortune. Fusa Miyauchi, the maker of this toy, is responsible for bringing her own charming and whimsical style to this tradition.