The papier-mache dog presents a contemporary feel within a long-established form.
Although the combination of colors is rather extreme, the blue, red, and black have been applied to create a superb balance.
This cute toy originated as a charm for safe childbirth, due to the fact that dogs whelp easily and are good at raising their pups.
In Japan there is a tradition known as omiya-mairi, in which a newly-born child is taken to the shrine of the area's tutelary god in order to pray for health and safe upbringing.
A papier-mache dog is often included among the items that are given to the child to celebrate this, as it is believed to act as a charm.
The papier-mache dog often carries a bamboo basket or a spinning drum on its back.
When the Japanese characters for "bamboo" and "dog" are combined, they create the character for "laughter" and so the basket represents a desire for the child to grow up to be a merry person.
The sound of the spinning drum is thought to have the power to drive away evil spirits and so it is used to offer the child protection.