It seems the sitting style shown in the below image is called ‘Seiza’, which is the traditional sitting style of the people of Japan. They sort of fold their thigh over their legs to sit in this position, and the below dolls represent this as well as the dressing of the Japanese people during festivities.
Since I was in Chennai for the weekend, I went to the Japanese Dolls exhibition conducted by the Japanese Embassy at the Anna Centenary Library in Chennai. This exhibition is on till 19th Feb 2011. The Japanese embassy has also donated a few books (in English) explaining about Japan, which are also kept in this library. People can just go there to see how brilliantly this library has been done – It looks more like an IT park than a Government library, with 9 floors and a capacity to accommodate 12,00,000 books. It seems, this is the biggest library in South Asia.
Coming back to the Japanese Dolls exhibition in the 2nd floor of this library, the following is the photo of Japanese dolls made using different varieties and colours/ patterns of cloth materials alone (the three dolls on the left).
The last photo is of the wooden dolls which are inexpensive and found more in rural Japan, its seems. I have always admired the Japanese. This is my second favorite country outside India, after Germany. So, if you are in Chennai you may not want to miss this exhibition, which contains many more such cute dolls… There is no entry fee BTW… So, you get to see the library as well as the exhibition… Don’t miss it!
Edited to add: I forgot to put in one more doll picture – this one was given to United States in exchange for a doll from there as a sign of friendship in the 1920’s, it seems. I love the spirit which this doll represents: