Those who have visited Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills district in the Minato Ward are probably familiar with Mori Tower, a 54-storey mixed use skyscraper that houses offices, retail shops, restaurants and other tourist attractions. The Mori Arts Center occupies floors 49-54 with observations decks located on the 52nd (Tokyo City View) and 54th floors. There is a lot to see and do and this week Mori Tower is hosting the Doll Culture Exhibition (http://www.doll-culture.com/).
The exhibition which runs from September 13 – October 19th presents five of Japan’s vastly popular fashion dolls in settings specially designed by art director, Sebastian Masuda. Masuda is regarded as one of the top evangelists of Japan’s kawaii culture and the man who helped launch the career of kawaii superstar, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Barbie, Super Dollfie, Licca-chan, Jenny and Blythe are all presented in a blend of art, fashion and fun at the Tokyo City View appealing to both the casual tourist and doll enthusiast alike. During the exhibition, the doll collectors will have the opportunity to purchase official limited-edition outfits and accessories for their own dolls.
Further, the Mado Lounge located in the Tokyo City View observation deck has created a special limited-time sweets/ drink series named after each doll featured in the exhibition. For the cost of 750¥ – 950¥, visitors can enjoy a Barbie, Blythe, Jenny, Super Dollfie, or Licca (Rika) themed dessert.
Super Dollfie is a ball-jointed doll produced by Volks and primarily geared toward the adult doll collectors and customizers. The dolls are made to be easily customized. The hair is a wig that can be changed. The head can be opened to change the eyes. The face paint can be removed and the head repainted. Optional hands and feet are available, and heads and other body parts are removable and interchangeable. They vary in price from about 36,000¥ yen up to about 150,000¥ .
Licca-chan is a very popular dress-up doll series introduced in Japan in 1967 by Takara, enjoying the same kind of popularity in Japan as the Barbie series does in the United States. Takara has sold over 53 million dolls as of 2007.
Blythe is a fashion doll measuring 11 inches tall, with an oversized head and large eyes that change color with the pull of a string. It was created in 1972 by the USA toy company, Kenner. In 2001, the Japanese toy company, Takara began producing new editions of Blythe dolls. There is a network of hobbyists who customize the doll for resale and create clothing and shoes for it.
Jenny is a 10½ inch fashion doll produced by Japanese toy company, Takara since 1982. The doll was originally known as Takara Barbie, but in 1986 was renamed “Jenny” after Takara ended their licensing agreement with Mattel. Takara Barbie differs from a western Barbie. Takara Barbie was altered to better appeal to Japanese preferences, and is shorter, her eyes are larger and rounder, the mouth is closed, and the doll’s figure is more natural than the Western Barbie’s exaggerated figure. Like her Western counterpart, Jenny wears a large variety of outfits, which often include street fashion, school uniforms, kimonos, and other uniquely Japanese costumes.
The Doll Culture Exhibition is sure to be a sentimental journey for adults and a voyage of discovery for the young doll collectors. It is also an excellent opportunity to visit Mori Tower and experience the breathtaking views of Tokyo below.
52F Roppongi Hills Mori Tower
6-10-1, Roppongi , Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032
10:00 am – 10:00 pm