Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hinamatsuri in Japan (Doll Festival or Girls' Day) March 3

Miniature Emperor and Empress
 We moved to Yokohama in the late 80's when my husband got a transfer to help DuPont Japan set up a research facility.  Wandering through department store displays of dolls for Hinamatsuri was heaven for my daughter and me. As soon as the New Year's decorations disappeared, the dolls came out, arranged on platforms with the Emperor and Empress at the top.  Some were traditional-looking dolls. Others, like those in the photo above, were an artful representation of the royal court.  The shiny black, lacquered,  platform is about six inches across.  Shells painted with metallic gold rest on now faded purple cushions.  Tiny wooden carved dolls represent the members of the royal family.

Have a look at all these images from a Google search! 

Here is more information on the happy day and some adorable dolls!

Royal court resting in a sea shell
One of my Japanese friends gave me this set of dolls in a sea shell as a thank you for teaching her English smocking. She said her mother, in her 80's and almost blind, made it.  The dolls are tucked between rolls of brightly colored cotton cloth. You can see it's so tiny that it rests in my daughter's fingertips!

What does this have to do with temari? At one time temari were given as gifts to young girls on March 3. I don't remember seeing any among the dolls in the store displays but I may have missed them. We were really overwhelmed by the dolls.