The association of Japanese doll manufacturers claim the theme park's attraction "destroys traditional culture"

Universal Studios Japan has come under fire for using Japanese traditional dolls as part of its Halloween haunted house attraction.

The association of Japanese doll manufacturers is accusing the American film studio theme park of tarnishing the image of traditional dolls.

In a letter sent by the Tokyo-based association, the group said, “treats Japanese dolls as cursed or scary objects, hindering the business of doll manufacturers and retailers.”

Universal Studios Japan, located in Osaka,said there were no plans to cancel the Tatari: Curse of the Living Dolls attraction. The attraction began on 10 September as part of its Halloween events. The company responded by saying, “we see no legal basis in the protest so the attraction will continue until Nov. 6 as scheduled.”

Tatari: Curse of the Living Dolls is advertised as suitable for those over the age of 12, offering a “decaying shrine” where dolls “filled with malice” reside.


Tatari: Curse of the Living Dolls promotional poster

Tatari: Curse of the Living Dolls promotional poster


 

The letter also criticised Wakayama’s Awashima Shrine for leasing hundreds of dolls to the theme park for the attraction. The shrine is famous for housing tens of thousands of traditional Japanese dolls.

“Japanese dolls are excellent works of art. The attraction gives a wrong, negative impression of them to the general public, and also destroys traditional culture.”

Whilst the theme park refuses to cancel the attraction, it said it would take on board the associations’ “valuable feedback”.

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