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Sat Dec 03 17:40:40 SAST 2016

Japan dollmakers spooked by Universal Studios haunted house

AFP | 2016-10-19 14:12:39.0
Two tiny Japanese dolls. File Photo.
Image by: Flickr/shero6820

Makers of traditional Japanese dolls have taken fright over the use the kimono-clad figurines in a haunted house at the Universal Studios theme park in Osaka.

With Halloween just around the corner, the group sent a protest letter this week to Universal Studios Japan, which runs the amusement park in the southern city, saying it made the dolls seem cursed.

"This really undermines the image of Japanese dolls," said the statement from the Association of Japanese Dolls.

"They're placed in the haunted house with stage blood and other special makeup."

Some Japanese dolls do have a history of being linked to ghosts and the supernatural, and the US-based amusement park operator has reportedly refused to remove hundreds of the dolls from its spooky exhibit.

The company did confirm that it had leased the dolls -- which have white faces and jet black hair -- from a shrine in western Japan.

People who don't want their dolls anymore often bring them to the shrine for a memorial service.

In Japan, many people believe that inanimate objects, such as dolls or chopsticks, have a soul like humans and animals.

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