Daily Archives: March 5, 2012

Hina Matsuri, the Doll Festival

Hina Matsuri is also known as the Doll Festival or Girls’ Day in Japan.  It’s a celebration of girls and held on March 3rd.  Traditionally, dolls were set afloat down a river to take away the bad spirits.  On this day, families with daughters display a tiered platform with red carpet and many dolls, including the Emperor and Empress, musicians, court ladies and many traditional tools and furniture.  In my family, we have a small set, which isn’t as elaborate as the full set, but it is quite nice to look at.  The display is set up in late February and taken down immediately after the festival.  Superstition says that if it is left out too long after the festival, the daughter will marry late.

Take a look at our Hina Doll set.

This is our Hina Doll set. It's a miniature set, so less elaborate than one of the big ones.

At the top are the Emperor and Empress. There are some lamp stands and a gold folding screen. The next level has the 3 court ladies, all holding sake equipment.

The third platform has 5 male musicians, including taiko drum, otsuzumi (large drum), kotsuzumi (small drum), the flute and a singer with a folding fan.

The fourth platform has 2 diamond shaped rice cakes and a couple of miniature trees, mandarin orange on the left and cherry on the right. The fifth platform shows various tools and furniture.

This is a miniature chest of drawers.

On the left are a couple of hibachi, I believe. On the right is a mirror stand.

Not exactly sure what these are, but my guess is for cooking.

The sixth platform has some more tools. The seventh platform has some food and drink.

This is a kago, or a kind of vehicle that is carried by two people. The passengers sit inside.

This is a chest for storing kimonos.

And this is a carriage pulled by an ox.

This is hina arare, which contains puffed rice and sugar candy.

This is gelatin in 3 coloured layers, pink, white and green.

This is a kind of peach juice.

If you live in Japan and have a daughter, do you also have a Hina Doll set?


Filed under Culture, Festivals & Events

Time Dominator

If any of you is a new parent, or remembers being a new parent, you’ll understand what I mean.  Since my daughter was born, I’ve felt like my time has been completely eaten up.  I don’t have a lot of time to do anything these days, and when I do get started, it’s interrupted by a crying, hungry baby.  She’s asleep right now, but I imagine that’ll change in about an hour or so.

Well, that sure changed.  As I was typing that last paragraph, the dog peed on the floor, so I had to clean it up, then take him out.  And when I came back in, Tomoe was crying.  It’s hard to believe that she’s already hungry.  She just ate not long ago.  She’s not crying now, just alternating between sleep and stretching.

Anyway, I do have plans to get back to posting pictures, as well as go on a few long walks this spring.  I hope I can.

Just wanted to let you know what’s been going on.

Oddly enough, I’ve been reading a lot more than usual.


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