This Kintaro warrior doll is part of a Kodomo no Hi (Children's Day; formerly Tango no Sekku, Boys' Day) festival set. His composition face is painted pink and he has glass inset eyes. Kintaro wears a painted black headdress with white paper and floral decorations, a red jacket, and gold and white striped brocade trousers with orange flowers. His headdress is tied under his chin with white cords that end in tassels. White and blue silk cords wrap around his shoulders and tie in the back. A large, curved sword in an orange and white striped scabbard is worn on his right side at the waist. The doll's right arm is raised up, and his hand is shaped into an open fist (possibly to hold his signature axe). His left arm is down and bent slightly forward. Two small nails protrude from the soles of his feet, presumably to attach the doll to a base (now missing).
Kintaro (or Kintoki), the "Golden Boy," is a child of superhuman strength from Japanese folklore. Raised by a mountain hag on Mt. Ashigara, Kintaro is said to have befriended the animals of the region to vanquish his enemies. He is loosely based on a Heian era (794-1185) historical figure, Sakata Kintoki, who was a retainer for Minamoto no Yorimitsu and a well-known warrior. Kintaro is a popular figure in No and kabuki theater, and Kintaro dolls are popular decorations for Kodomo no Hi, as they represent the desire for boys to become equally brave and strong. Kintaro is frequently depicted holding his axe, wearing his familiar apron, and sometimes accompanied by a tame bear or wrestling a giant carp.
On Kodomo no Hi, families raise a carp-shaped flag, called a koinobori, for each boy or child in the family. Koinobori flags are chosen because when flown in the breeze, they look as if they are swimming upstream, and therefore allude to a Chinese legend that holds that when a carp swims upstream it becomes a dragon. Families may also display samurai dolls and other figures in the home, such as a Kintaro (Golden Boy) doll, typically depicted riding on a giant carp and wearing a kabuto military helmet. Traditional foods on Kodomo no Hi include mochi rice cakes wrapped in Kashiwa (oak) leaves and chimaki (sweet rice paste wrapped in an iris or bamboo leaf).