In the 19th century, obstetric training in Japan was a completely different and slightly terrifying practice. Warning, those with doll phobias would do well to avoid this post.
Back in the 1800’s, traveling sideshow carnivals known as misemono would pack in quite a crowd showcasing often times entertaining as well as educational exhibits on the many facets of biology and anatomy. One of the seemingly more popular exhibits was the “pregnant dolls.”
These dolls were carved out of wood and featured a pull away belly that would showcase the various forms of fetal gestation. Although these dolls were widely believed to be used as instructional tools for midwives, documents show that their presentation was a huge hit with the educated population of 1860’s Tokyo.
(Source: Accidental Mysteries)