Girl’s Day or Doll’s Day is on March 3rd every year in Japan. It’s a Doll Festival that hails from the Heian period. These dolls were thought to possess the power to contain bad spirits. In fact, the origins of Hinamatsuri call back to a tradition called hina-nagashi 雛流し which is translated literally as “doll floating.” This custom had people placing straw dolls into a boat and allowing them to drift out to sea supposedly carrying bad spirits or troubles with them.
So, in February, families put the dolls on display and take them down immediately after the festival. There is a superstition that if the doll display is not removed quickly enough, then your daughter won’t get married. *insert dun dun duuuuuh here*
The dolls themselves are based upon a wedding between an Emperor, known as Odairi-sama 御内裏様, and Empress, or Ohime-sama 御雛様. They have specific places on this seven tiered platform covered in a red carpet. I’ll give you an EASY run down of what each level has. If you want MORE detail, check out wiki!
On the top tier resides the Emperor and Empress, him with a baton and her with a fan.
The second tier is for sake accessories and the three bearers of the sake, three court ladies san-nin kanjo 三人官女. There is also a table with sweets on it between the woman called takatsuki 高坏.
One level down, beneath the ladies eh heh, there are five male musicians called gonin bayashi 五人囃子. There are three different types of drummers, a flute player, and a singer.
The next level carries the ministers, an older man and a younger man. They are called daijin. Between them is a bowl and a diamond-shaped stand shishidai 菱台 bearing diamond-shaped rice cakes called hishimochi 菱餅.
Just below the ministers, there would be an orange tree and a cherry blossom tree. Between these trees, the fifth tier is given to the three helpers or samurai that protect the Emperor and Empress. Strangely enough they are also called drinkers, the maudlin, cantankerous, and merry.
The next two tiers are for furniture, tools, carriages, and the lot. The sixth tier is reserved for things use while at the palace and the seventh for those used when away.
These doll collections are normally worked up to. I’ve read a manga or two where every year the girl would get the next doll. Sadly, like many other toys, they are eventually forgotten and kept in the attic somewhere. And that’s what you needed to know about Doll’s Day! ^_^
For the four of us, Hayley, Angela, Jenny, and myself, our Hinamatsuri was spent our local shrine where we enjoyed a koto, dance, and tea ceremony performance. (Koto was the name of that instrument we were looking for on the Giants in Japan podcast #2.) While I was able to get the koto and dance performances on video some, the tea ceremony was too…ceremonial for me to catch it. Apparently there is a TV spot that did a special on it though and all of us were in it.
Afterward, Angela, Jenny, and I ate sushi and these cute little Hinamatsuri themed cupcakes.
Needless to say, we had a lot of fun.
Podcast number #4 should be out by Thursday. Please make sure to check it out too!
Thanks for including my photo on your beautiful blog! Arigato~! I still have ohinasama sitting in our living room this year… My parents would flip. You celebrated girls day better than I did with my girls. You took some lovely photos!!
Thanks Kaho. I wish they had come out as beautiful as yours. I know I didn’t ask to use your photo!! I’m REALLY sorry. If you want me to take it down, I totally will. Please let me know!
It’s totally fine with me. I would love people to use my photos. I am honored. The photo you used might not come from my blog though… The one I have on my blog is very similar, but slightly different. (http://chuzailiving.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/hinamatsuri-girls-day-japan-hina-dolls/img_4309/) The one you have is much nicer for sure. I would feel badly to get a credit for the work I didn’t do… If you would like to switch to mine (above), please feel free. You can use the link to the photo and post it. If you know how to do it, that’s the easiest. If not, I can send you the photo although I am not sure how big the file is… Please feel free to use my photo anytime!
WOW!! Thanks so much!! ^_^
I love the pictures!!! 🙂
Thanks friend. I miss you oodles!