Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sarubobo Doll

Have you ever seen this figure? This is called "Sarubobo". Saru means "monkey" and bobo means "baby" in Hida area, which is surrounded by steep mountains located in the northern part of Gifu Prefecture.

  Sarubobo is a red human-shaped doll with  no facial feature in a black hood. It is a typical souvenior of Hida area. In the past , sarubobos are made by grandmothers for their grandchildren as dolls, and for their daughters as a charm for good marriage, good children and to ensure a well-rounded couple, by using left-over clothes.

Sarubobo may be a famous Japanese figure appeared in some guidebook about Japan. I remember a nice American woman I met in Kyoto a few years ago. When I finished showing her around some famous tourist spots,  she said to me, "I've wanted to buy a red and black doll with a round face. Where can I buy one?" I didn't know what she meant. After a while I realized she was talking of "Sarubobo." She had wanted to get one as a charm for her sister. We visited and visited many shops and department stores in Kyoto but we couldnt't find one. I got a call to some tourist organization asking where to buy one and found that we can buy these dolls mainly in the typical area of Hida such as Takayama, not in Kyoto.
 But I think today she can get one using shopping services on the Internet.

Yesterday I bought this doll during my trip, but you can make it by yourself.  This website will help you.


  1. aww i love this doll..she is super sweet..
    thank you for sharing deary..
    love and hugs for you cucki xx

  2. what an unusual doll, I have never heard of one before,

    Gill in Canada

  3. Thanks for sharing, Annie, the doll is so interesting.

    Hugs, Kaye xoxox

  4. This is new to me, too, and cute. However, the first thing I would do is put a face on it!