Monday, March 3, 2008

Hina Matsuri

March 3rd is Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival), or Girls' Day, in Japan. On this day, families pray for the health, growth and happiness of their daughters. Special dolls, called hina ningyo, are displayed in homes with daughters to bring good luck to the household. Hina dolls are very expensive and not many people can afford them. Traditionally, it is the grandmother who presents a young girl with her own set of hina dolls. Since they are so expensive, a large set of dolls displayed in the home is wonderful to behold. We were able to go to a Hina Matsuri Festival, which was actually an Utazu city-walk to view the hina dolls of the local residents. There were 96 homes displaying their dolls. We only made it to 29!
Here is a full set of hina dolls. There is a special formation to the dolls. The emperor and empress are at the top, with their court on the lower levels. Seven levels is considered the most lucky.

The empress wears many, many kimonos!

Japanese girl scouts working on their dolls!

This is Fox's student Koyama-san, who took us to the festival. They are in front of someone's home.

We ran into Toshiko, another of Fox's students, who treated us to mochi and rice cakes!

Here we are in front of our favorite home of the day:


Larissa said...

Fun stuff - thanks for sharing about your culture experiences!