In Hida Takayama in Gifu Prefecture, Japan, we saw this doll called ‘Sarubobo’ many times.

It seemed to be the mascot of the town.

This was my second visit to Takayama after about 20 years and I do not remember seeing this doll last time, so probably it started recently.

I looked into it and found that it was listed as a trademark of Hida area in 2007.

But the design itself is old.

The mothers and grandmothers of this region have been making this doll for their children for a very long time, hoping for their health.

Sarubobo means monkey baby and the red was used because it was supposed to fend off smallpox.

These dolls usually do not have a face.

I do not know if the mothers hoped for the children to develop their imagination, but I am sure they certainly had this effect.

This reminded me of a doll my mother made for my little sister when she was a baby.

It was a simple thing, an empty tin wrapped with a cloth, but my sister loved it and carried it around everywhere.

By the way, when we were tired walking around the town and went into a cafe, we found a couple who seemed Chinese were smoking at the table next to us.

I was very surprised to see that.

In England, smoking has been banned indoors in public places for a long time, so it looked so strange for me.

[ Mar.2016 ]