5 Rings, One Doll

Go Yubiwa Ichi No Ningyō

The Kokeshi Project
Nikkei National Museum
Burnaby, BC

Fir wood base, acrylic paint, oil based wood stain,
twine, incorporated objects
8” tall x variable dimensions.
Neal E. Nolan

5 Rings, One Doll both incorporates and conceptualizes the teachings of the legendary samurai, Miyamoto Musashi (The Book of Five Rings.) The piece additionally acknowledges the philosophies of the Shinobi- whom, both coincidently and transcendently (see research disambiguation), shared in these principals and philosophies; incorporating them in martial and everyday practical use. 

According to research, despite popular belief and the depiction of folklore, the ninja weren’t a separate martial force from the Samurai but a subgroup generally made up of foot soldiers (Ashigaru) and samurai retainers- hired by feudal lords and others as spies and mercenaries.

By the way of disambiguation of these two warrior classes, and in illustrating the dichotomy of these two precepts- 5 Rings, One Doll intends to illustrate the falsehood within the hierarchy of class and express human equality both historically and contemporary.