Friday, March 9, 2012

Girls Day or Hinamatsuri

A collection of Hina Ningyo (Girls Day dolls).
Japan celebrates Girls Day, or Hinamatsuri on March 3rd each year.  Although its not a national holiday, its meaning is significant.  As infants, girls are given Hina dolls as a custom to promote health, growth and happiness.  This year, I was invited to Tokyo to have brunch and attend a Hinamatusuri exhibit at Meguro Gajoen with some American and Japanese ladies. 
Sunday Brunch at The New Sanno Hotel.

The company, food and doll exhibit were wonderful. We went up some 100 stairs (total) at  the exhibit with our slippers on to see the various doll collections.  Because taking pictures wasn't allowed, its hard to express the detail and beauty in these dolls.  Traditionally, the dolls are displayed in a 7 tiered fashion atop a red covering called hi-mōsen with the Emperor and Empress on the top tier and musicians, and other attendants on the subsequent tiers.  Everyone is displayed in traditional clothing dating from the Heian period which was from 794-1185.

I learned that each region in Japan has different looking dolls, and some regions display their dolls in a different order.  Some dolls were also dressed very ornately, while others were dressed simple.  It was very nice to have the Japanese ladies with us to translate and explain the various types of dolls and their significance.  I had another great day, and experience in Japan
Keepsakes from Hinamatsuri.

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