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Puppet - Hand Puppet, Boxed, Japanese, 1950s Object Reg. No: HT 21990

Japanese hand puppet brought to Australia by Machiko Mizuta when she migrated as a war bride from Japan in 1952. Machiko Mizuta met Douglas Bryce, an Australian army engineer, during his posting to Kure in occupied Japan in the late 1940s, where she worked in an office. They married in Australia in 1953 and encountered both acceptance and prejudice before settling in a war service home in Clayton. Machiko remained in Australia with her children after Douglas' death.

Japanese brides initially received five year temporary residency visas. Then in 1956 after extensive lobbying by the Country Women's Association and the Returned Services League the law was amended to allow them to become citizens. This change was part of a gradually whittling away of the remnants of the White Australia policy.
Japanese hand puppet consisting of wooden 'paddle' support with gold textile covering on handle. Reverse of paddle is painted with a red cherry blossom design. The front of paddle has floral fabric attached, predominantly in purple, green pink and blue. There is a head and torso figure of Japanese woman in tradition dress adhered 'in relief' onto front of paddle. The figure is made from stiff cardboard with painted face, woollen black elaborate Japanese hairstyle, red decorative headpiece with silver paper ribbon decorations, and orange fabric costume with paper hanging flower decoration from shoulder. The puppet is contained in a long flat cardboard box, pink exterior and yellow interior. Two flowers made from pink and red feathers attached to raised section of the inside of the box.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Charles Bryce, 2006
Discipline: History

More information

Tagged with: japanese communities, japanese immigration, weddings, war brides, japanese toys, puppets
Themes this item is part of: Machiko Mizuta, Japanese Migrant, 1952
Primary Classification: MIGRATION
Secondary Classification: Travel - Brought Goods
Tertiary Classification: mementoes
Place & Date Made: Japan, circa 1940s
User: Mrs Machiko Mizuta, Victoria, Australia, 1950s
References: From Kimono to Sushi. The Japanese in Victoria, Immigration Museum Community Gallery room brochure, 2006 (Australia-Japan Research Project)

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