Bunka Dolls

Bunka dolls are sort of my current obsession. I just can't get over their vintage style, cute side-glancing eyes, and great big bonnets! While they may look like the perfect Lolita, this style of doll was actually very popular in the early to mid 20th century in Japan. Although I am sure many of the modern Bunka dolls draw inspiration directly from the Lolita image, as modern Bunkas tend to look a bit different than than vintage ones. There are a number of emerging Bunka doll artists, and the Bunka doll image is making a come back as a symbol of cuteness and finding it's way into fabric prints, jewelry, and anywhere else a touch of cute is needed. Baby, the Stars Shine Bright has even released a Bunka doll complete with one of their most famous prints.

I can imagine Bunka dolls scattered throughout a Lolita's room. Dressed to match whatever your favorite style is. A couple resting on the bed and one sitting on the vanity, among a collection of pretty perfume bottles. Or maybe three lined up on a shelf, one in Classic, one in Sweet, and a final one in Gothic Lolita!

Where can I find more of these?
Bunka dolls are a bit hard to find here overseas, but there are a lot of places to look online if you just want to browse galleries full of Bunkas and dream about them. There are a few places scattered around who will make you custom, one-of-a-kind, Bunkas though, Pink Gun Dollhouse being one such place. Besides occasionally finding a real vintage one on Ebay, you're probably going to have to hunt around or learn to make your own if you are interested in a Bunka doll of your very own. The internet is, sadly, pretty much devoid of good bunka tutorials and patterns, besides this one Japanese tutorial. Or you can pick up a Japanese book that includes a pull out pattern as well as some fantastic Bunka photography. If you just need some good eye candy, there is a Bunk doll pool on Flickr filled with all sorts of different kinds of Bunka cuteness, from vintage, to hand made, to Bunka inspired art.

Big Bunka and tiny Bunkas by Chizuru.

An adorable Bunka by Natsukashii Araka.

PinkGunDollHouse makes adorable Bunkas on commission.

Tanpopo0118 on DA makes beautiful Bunkas!

As I have said, I'm pretty much completely smitten by these adorable little dolls! I even got a hold of the Japanese book I mentioned in this post and have been staring at the patterns in the back! I think when I get a few more sewing projects and experiments out of the way this is definitely what I want to try out next!

And just so you know, Intravenous Sugar recently did an interview with me! So check that out if you want to hear me babble about things like how I keep loosing bloomers and stuff like that XD. Since it's been a whole week since my last post, in this time I've also been interviewed over at Lolita Weekly!


  1. I adore bunka dolls, too~ I particularly love the ones that Tanpopo makes. They look so sweet, and their clothing is adorable!

    I keep thinking I ought to make one myself, but my sewing skills are so poor that I haven't attempted it yet.

  2. oooh these dolls are darling (L) i'd love to have one, maybe i'll make one soon, just to try.
    you were so much fun i loved interviewing you <3

  3. Oh so sweet! I've always thought that BtSSB doll was adorable...

  4. Oh my goodness, now I have something else I want to collect! They are so gorgeous but my poor, poor wallet!

  5. I want to make one!! They're so cuuuuuute!! As soon as I get my sewing machine running, again, that is. CURSE YOU, FOOLISH BOBBIN-CASE.

  6. I love the style of these dolls! The sideways glances are very endearing XD I've seen various pictures of the Baby bunka doll before, but I had no idea the doll had a particular name for it!

  7. Oh my, these are lovely. You know, I think my grandmother had a vintage doll similar to these, but it wasn't dress in anything remotely Lolita. It's too bad I didn't keep it.

  8. That is a very cute article. I like bunka dolls very much! There is another tutorial with a pattern here ^_^


  9. That is so adorable. I would want to make one as well, only if I wasn't swamp or lazy. lol

  10. I recently bought this babytssb bunka doll you've posted in the first pic. I really love her and I'm glad to own her!

  11. (*__*) I recognise these! Kokusyoku Sumire's Sachi~san made one for the Gothic & Lolita Bible(Yuka~san made a rainbow coloured clay mermaid). So, I already have a pattern for one with an almost bonnet~like witch hat XD I just need to figure out what the cylinder that she puts into the body is, and where to buy one ¬(>.>) I should already have enough scrap fabric for the bunka~to~be's outfit, the stuffing too(from an unmade bunnybag project), I'd just need to get appropriate paint and brushes, something for hair making, and flesh~y colour fabric (O.o) though, might help if I study the pattern first(and try my best to guesslate Sachi's destructions) and figure out how it goes together. These dolls are just so adorable, and so natsukashii d(^__^) thank you for blogging about them! You've inspired me to make my own bunka(unfortunately, I won't be getting the Babyssb one, I've sworn off buying from them after internet order staff accused me of not putting my country on my order, indirectly accusing Scotland of not being a real country. One rude comment has lost them a customer of three or so years).



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