Costumed Doll Guan Yu

Hōreki era (1751–1764) Donated by Saitō Shōji

This is a doll of Guan Yu, a Chinese military general who served under the warlord Liu Bei during the Three Kingdoms period. He is remembered for his loyalty and righteousness, extensively described in the 14th century historical novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms.” So beloved was he that he was deified during the Sui dynasty (581–618), and continues to be worshipped by many Chinese people today.

From around the middle of the Edo period, many dolls of Guan Yu were made as a result of the popularity of the aforementioned novel.