Friday, March 3, 2017


Today is Girls' Day in Japan. In celebration, families display beautifully crafted wooden dolls that represent the Emperor and Empress, and their attendants. Last week I dutifully arranged the set of dolls that my mother passed down to me a few years ago. Superstition says that if you leave the dolls out after the festival has ended then your daughters will become old maids. Apparently it is a miracle I am married. The years my mother actually remembered to put out the dolls, they rarely made it back into their boxes before April. She insists that "Kansai people" keep their dolls out for an extra month. This seems like a rather convenient excuse.

I remember being mesmerized by the little figures as a child, longing to be able to play with them. They were, and are, just so satisfyingly small. It occurs to me that I really have no sense of the origins of the Hinamatsuri festival or how one is supposed to celebrate beyond admiring the dolls, but perhaps the pleasure of watching those perfect little figures stand proud for a few weeks is enough.

I should really put them away tomorrow to protect my daughter from a marriage-less fate. But then, aren't I a Kansai person too?


  1. I am mesmerized by them too! Thank you for sharing about this day and tradition. I am so thankful to learn from you.

  2. So interesting. I just googled this holiday and read more about it. So lovely that your mom passed these dolls and the tradition down to you. Enjoy! Thanks for teaching me.