119
JUMP TO LOT
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Yeats: The Family Collection

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London

Japan
HINA MATSURI FIGURES
mixed media including painted egg-shell plaster, silk, brocade and tatami
each aproximately 31cm., 12¼in.
Taishō Period, Early 20th century
Made circa 1925.
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Catalogue Note

These finely worked dolls were presented to Yeats in 1927 by the Japanese poet and essayist Dr Yano Kazumi (1893-1988). Yano visited Thoor Ballylee in July 1927, and sought help from Yeats for commentary on his edition of Select Poems of William Butler Yeats (Tokyo, 1928). He also intended to translate some of George Yeats's plays (see W.B. Yeats & George Yeats: The Letters, ed. Saddlemyer (2011), p.194, n.3). The dolls are dairi-bina, a pair representing an Emperor and Empress made for the Hina Matusri. This Spring festival has been celebrated by families with young girls since the Edo Period in Japan. The celebration involved an intricate altar in which miniature figures, such as the dolls here, would be arranged by rank.

W. B. Yeats had a deep interest in Japanese culture, expressed most famously in his adoption of techniques from Noh theatre in plays such as At The Hawks Well and The Death of Cuchulain: "With the help of Japanese plays ... I have invented a form of drama, distinguished, indirect and, symbolic, and having no need of mob or press to pay its way – an aristocratic form ('Certain Noble Plays of Japan', 1916).

Yeats: The Family Collection

|
London