Known as Okiku Ningyo, this small sized doll has a unique history dating back to the year 1918. While a man was visiting Sapporo, Japan…he came across a rather remarkable doll. Eikichi Suzuki believed his younger 2 year old sister Okiku, would enjoy having this doll – so he purchased it.
The doll stands at just under 16 inches tall and has a traditional Japanese kimono on. Notably, the doll’s hair is shoulder length. As big brother Eikichi returned home one day he gave this doll to his little sister. She enjoyed the gift and seemingly always had it with her, up until the day she tragically died.
The young girl was only 3 years old and fell ill quickly. She passed away from complications such as having a high fever. Of course Eikichi and the rest of his family were heartbroken over her death. Initially, the plan was to bury this doll with Okiku but it wasn’t so. The doll was later placed upon a small sized altar in their home to remember little Okiku.
From what is understood, the doll would remain inside the families home for 20 years. It wasn’t until 1938, when the family decided to leave Hokkaido that the doll would stay there on the island. They all agreed that it was best for the doll to remain behind there at the island.
Intriguingly, the doll ended up at a temple known as Mannenji. This is where the doll remains to this day. There at the temple the local monks care for the doll by giving it a haircut.
Remarkably, the doll continues to grow hair down towards its shoulders. One priest inside the temple notably had a dream and said this was the doll’s wish. As requested, the doll continues to be cared for by the temple caretakers.
After further scientific examination, it was confirmed that this doll’s hair was not from a human child after all. One can only wonder what the hair is from or even why it continues to grow.
However, there are many people who frequent this temple just to come see the doll for themselves. They are now allowed to take any pictures of it except in their minds. This doll remains a mysterious fascination for many to this day.