Doll Funeral Manicure

In Japan, there are a lot of festivals and interesting rituals. On Sept. 25 of every year, people bring their old, unwanted dolls to certain temples and there is a funeral for the dolls. A prayer is said by Buddhist monks for the dolls and they are offered up and then put into a fire- a sort of doll cremation. They do plastic dolls, stuffed animals, you name it.  Some of the dolls are gorgeous antiques but of course the public is not allowed to take them.

A couple years ago, I saw a little boy hand over his Snoopy stuffed animal after being prodded by his mom. He looked horrified as his beloved Snoopy roasted. I bet he’s going to grow up to be a serial killer. This time, there were no kids handing over beloved dolls- I think it was too traumatic for everyone involved.

So, here’s some photos of the Doll Funeral (called Ningyo Kuyo in Japanese, if you’re interested):

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Dolls to be burned.

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A woman in a kimono hands over a doll to be burned.

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Getting the gasoline ready.

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She looks rather impassive, considering the state she’s in.

And here’s my mani:

I painted tips with a black creme and sprinkled some orange confetti on them while they were still wet to represent the embers. From there, I added some red foil flames on the bottom and some dripping doll flesh on the top. I wanted to paint a burning Hello Kitty, but I was afraid I’d be deported from Japan for defacing a national treasure or something.

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About nevertoomuchglitter

Nail artist. Wanderer. I'm a color-holic, in fact, it was my love of color that brought me to the nail art world. Well, that, and the fact I was too cheap to pay crazy Japanese prices for nail polish while living in Tokyo, so I had to start mixing my own. That's how NTMG began.
This entry was posted in Japanese Nail Art, Nail polish, NTMG Original Nail Art and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Doll Funeral Manicure

  1. Annabelle says:

    I loved that comment about the Hello Kitty. I think that that is one cerimony too weird for me.

  2. Nora says:

    I really enjoyed reading this story and the nails are just so fantastically creative! I did not leave a comment on a post you did a while ago but keep thinking about it, the essence of Japanese culture summed up in a few sentences, the female coworker and her monitor! You know this shed light on a mystery I had for 3 years, the strange saccharine coated behavior of the mother of my daughter’s friend! Thank you!

  3. shutendoji says:

    I love the picture of the burning doll… very creepy! I really like way your mani turned out- I think it evokes the same spooky vibe as the festival. Keep up the amazing work!

  4. amber says:

    i recently bought those decorative nail flakes. I made the awful awful mistake of adding them to the actual nail polish. And now…it’s clumpy. and ucky.

    But those nails look wonderful!

    Amber

    ambersmouthwash.blogspot.com

  5. amber says:

    i recently bought those decorative nail flakes. I made the awful awful mistake of adding them to the actual nail polish. And now…it’s clumpy. and ucky.

    But those nails look wonderful!

    Amber

  6. How fascinating about the doll funeral. And your nails are gorgeous and well-themed, as always. 🙂

  7. Lucy says:

    That’s a strange ceremony. How awful to burn antique dolls. I can’t imagine a Mother having her son burn his Snoopy. That was funny about the Hello Kitty! I like the manicure. Very interesting concept.

  8. beautyjudy says:

    You are amazing with nail art, as always! I love the idea of Hello Kitty but glad for your safety you skipped her LOL Sounds like a bizarre good time!

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