March 1, 2012
Celebrating Girl’s Day At The Palms Cliff House Inn
By: Michele Gamble
Girl’s Day is Saturday, March 3, 2012.
On Display Will Be A Collection Of Japanese Kokeshi Dolls & Antique Traditional Girl’s Day Hina Matsuri Display, With Accompanying Accessories, Dougu, Consisting Of More Than 100 Pieces.
Girl’s Day, which takes place on the 3rd of March each year, is celebrated with special food and with elaborate displays of dolls representing the Emperor and Empress and in the most elaborate displays, their full court of attendants and household goods on a graduated dais covered in red.
This event originally began in the Edo era; traditionally, this event was only celebrated by the young daughters of the Imperial Family and the Japanese upper class, but gradually this festival became integrated into the celebrations of the common people.
In a time when marriage was a woman’s only option, such displays were thought to encourage the daughter to aspire to a prosperous match and to ward off evil and promote the health of the young girl. On Boys’ Day, celebrated in early May, helmets, armor and warrior dolls were displayed to encourage young boys to see the glories of military service as a man’s duty.
In carrying on with the tradition, Hina dolls are lovingly viewed and special sweets that can only be eaten on this day are consumed. This is the day families still pray for the happiness and prosperity of their girls and to help ensure that they grow up healthy and beautiful. The celebration takes place both inside the home and at the seashore. Both parts are meant to ward off evil spirits from girls.
A girl’s first “Girls’ Day” is called her hatzu-zekku. On a girl’s hatzu-zekku it is very popular for the girl’s grandparents to buy her a display. This display can have up to seven tiers with dolls, A Palace, and small furniture. At the top is always the dolls of the emperor and empress with a miniature gilded screen placed behind them, very much like how it is in the imperial court.
Most families take out this display of dolls around mid-February and put it away immediately after Hina Matsuri is over. There is a superstition that says that families slow to put away the dolls will have trouble marrying off their daughters!
This is one of the best Meiji-era images of the Japanese Doll Festival decorations I have seen during. I love the detail of the display as photographed by Meiji-era photographer T. ENAMI.
I have been collecting my Hina Dolls for 15 years. Gathering a piece here and a piece there. Discovering treasures both here in Hawaii as well as purchasing items in Japan. The most fun for me at the household items. The attention to detail is incredible.
As my display grows, so does the space required to house it when not on display. Three shelves in my office as well as a full closet are devoted to my ever growing collection. I hope you have enjoyed looking at my collection of Hina dolls, if you are in the area on Girl’s Day, please stop by to see it in person. I’d be more than happy to show and share it to you!