About so-called Hakata Urasaki doll

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Information of Hakata doll


Hakata doll Catalogue Page 1

  Hakata doll Catalogue page 2
  1. Prologue
Though we don't know the reason, we have been often inquired about so-called Hakata Urasaki doll via E-mail, and so we have created a web page about Hakata Urasaki doll. To our knowledge, information of so-called Hakata Urasaki dolls is as follows.
Please note that we have no relationship with Urasaki dolls store which have already closed a shop.

2. Historical background of so-called Hakata Urasaki doll
There was Korean War at June 1950 - July 1953, and many U.S. military personnel came to Japan, including soldiers. (At those days, Japanese government had been controlled by U.S. forces as the results of Second world war. ) Since Fukuoka is very near Korea, Fukuoka became major military logistic base for U.S. forces, and Hakata is name of town
in Fukuoka prefecture. As a matter of fact, so-called Hakata Urasaki doll was made as souvenirs from Japan for U.S. military personnel, and so many, if not all, Hakata Urasaki doll would be in U.S.A.

3. Why they are called as Hakata Urasaki doll ?
Two wholesalers of Hakata doll had mass-produced Hakata doll because U.S. military headquarters in Japan placed a large order for them. Urasaki is the name of one of two wholesalers, please view Tree Diagrams about Hakata doll, you will find name of Urasaki. Hakata Urasaki doll was sold at shop of military base of U.S. forces in Fukuoka. In other words, Hakata Urasaki doll was souvenirs from Japan for U.S. military personnel. Though it may be incorrect, another wholesaler's name which had been closed a long time ago would be Hakata Mimasu doll. (Owner of Urasaki doll store, Youichirou Urasaki, died in 2004 by road traffic accident, and so his store was closed)

4. Why had Hakata Urasaki doll disappeared ?
Hakata dolls feature vivid body's color and face expression as if living. As mentioned later, Hakata urasaki doll is finished up by the surface-coating, which is a kind of waterproofing paints. (Please see below as for the reason). And because of that, Hakata Urasaki doll had no advantage over standard Hakata doll on vivid body colors. After end of Korean War, most of U.S. military personnel left Fukuoka, and Urasaki doll store had ceased to make so-called Hakata Urasaki doll, because most of The Japanese tend to prefer vivid colors than "washable".

5.Why it's washable ?
Supposing that you handle Hakata doll with bare hands, Hakata doll will be easily soiled with finger marks, what is more important, in the event that you clean Hakata doll with wet towel, clothes painted on the surface will be damaged. The wholesalers mentioned above were afraid that U.S. military personnel do such an act , in other words, they feared the claim from U.S. military headquarters who were their clients. Because of that, they finished up Hakata Urasaki doll by coating the surface with a kind of waterproofing paints, and so, please note that Hakata Urasaki doll is not "washable" unlike
standard pottery dolls. Moreover you must consider how much time had passed. And so, it would be better for you that you don't clean Hakata urasaki doll. In short, please sell on "As is base" becausethere is problem of durability of waterproofing paints.

6.Conclusion :
So-called Hakata Urasaki doll were mass-produced as souvenirs from Japan for U.S. military personnel as previously mentioned. But since they are not so-called "tourist goods" but products handcrafted with elaborately, we agree it's antiques. Though Japanese people never know Hakata Urasaki doll and never recognize them as antiques, Hakata Urasaki doll would be valuable.
However, we think that present-days Hakata dolls are more valuable than Hakata Usaki doll. After reading this web page, You will understand the reason. That is, Hakata Urasaki doll lacks vivid colors, which is lifeof Hakata doll.And so, there would be no Geisya girls doll as for Haklata Urasaki doll.