Fumika-chan

26" Ichimatsu Gofun Doll

We're often asked if any of the dolls in our collection are haunted.  We have never experienced any strange occurrences, or had an unsettling experience with any of the dolls in our collection (and many people find our collection unsettling).  However, we do have one doll that came to us with a history of paranormal behavior.

 

One of our neighbors, after learning that we collect dolls and assorted odd antiques asked us if we would be interested in giving an antique doll from Japan a new home.  They stressed that, although they had never had any issues with said doll - it made family and friends uncomfortable, and they felt bad that she was currently packed away and would be much happier with us.

One of our neighbors, after learning that we collect dolls and assorted odd antiques asked us if we would be interested in giving an antique doll from Japan a new home.  They stressed that, although they had never had any issues with said doll - it made family and friends uncomfortable, and they felt bad that she was currently packed away and would be much happier with us.

When they brought the doll over, it turned out to be an exquisite 26 inch antique Japanese ichimatsu ningyo gofun doll dressed in layers of bright silk kimonos.  Gofun is a type of composition material made of crushed oysters which gives the doll an appearance of fine porcelain.  We named her Fumika-chan, and this is the story our neighbor related about her:

They first met Fumika-chan while studying in Japan.  She belonged to a professor at the University and was stored in a glass display case.  Fumika-chan was, apparently not satisfied with being closed in such a stuffy case and would routinely open the door of her display cabinet in the middle of the night.  This unnerved the professor, and he began to suspect that she might be haunted and asked two of his students (one of which was our neighbor) to take her to a doll shrine for disposal.    So off went our neighbor, their classmate and Fumika-chan.  It would seam that Fumika-chan was less than enthused with the idea of being sent to a doll shrine, and one night during the trip our neighbors classmate (who had Fumika-chan in their possession for the night) banged on their hotel door in the middle of the night and thrust Fumika-chan at them - she was, apparently moving to different spots throughout the night and the classmate wanted nothing more to do with her.  Our intrepid neighbor, feeling sorry for Fumika-chan, decided instead to take her home to the US after their coursework.  Grateful perhaps, for avoiding fate at the doll shrine, Fumika-chan never gave our neighbor any trouble, but our neighbors roommates and family all insisted that they had had strange experiences in her presence, eventually resulting in Fumika-chan being relegated to the attic.

Fumika-chan has been with us now for several years, and she has never given us the slightest trouble.  She spends her days in the livingroom with the other antique dolls and seems to be quite content with her station in life.

If you'd like to learn more about ichimatsu ningyo dolls, please check out Alan Scott Pate's excellent website:

www.antiquejapanesedolls.com