Wednesday, March 6, 2013

19th Century Japanese Pregnancy Dolls

In the 18th and 19th centuries, sideshow carnivals known as misemono were a popular form of entertainment for the sophisticated residents of Edo (present-day Tokyo). The sideshows featured a myriad of educational and entertaining attractions designed to evoke a sense of wonder and satisfy a deep curiosity for the mysteries of life. One popular attraction was the pregnant doll.

Although it is commonly believed that these dolls were created primarily to teach midwives how to deliver babies, evidence suggests they were also used for entertainment purposes.

“Light-skinned” pregnant doll - Edo-Tokyo Museum

“Light-skinned” pregnant doll - Edo-Tokyo Museum

19th-century obstetric training doll - Wada Museum

Baby doll - Edo-Tokyo Museum

Wood carved fetus model set (circa 1877) - Toyota Collection

Info from here

Photo via Imgur

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