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Hinamatsuri dolls

Hinamatsuri (雛祭り, Hina-matsuri), also called Doll's Day or Girls' Day, is a special day in Japan.[1] Hinamatsuri is celebrated each year on March 3.[2] This is a day for thinking about the happiness and health of young girls in Japanese families.[3]

History[change | change source]

Since the 8th century, it was traditional to have special days for children twice a year—March 3 for girls[4] and May 5 for boys.[5]

Display[change | change source]

Dolls displayed on Hinamatsuri

The focus of attention on Hinamatsuri is a display of dolls which are dressed in the fashion of the Heian period. The group of dolls represent the Imperial court (hina ningyō).[2]

The Japanese term for the display steps is hina dan (雛壇).[2] There may be five or seven steps.

The Kantō region and Kansai region have different placement orders of the dolls from left to right, but the order of dolls per level are the same.

First platform, the top[change | change source]

The top tier holds two dolls. They are imperial dolls (内裏雛 (だいりびな), dairi-bina).[6]

  • Emperor (御内裏様, Odairi-sama) holds a ritual baton (, shaku)
  • Empress (御雛様, Ohime-sama) holds a fan[7]

The male doll is traditionally on the right, but sometimes the doll is on the left.

Second platform[change | change source]

The second tier holds three court ladies san-nin kanjo (三人官女). Each holds something to do with sake.

Third platform[change | change source]

The third tier holds five male musicians gonin bayashi (五人囃子).

Fourth step[change | change source]

Two Imperial ministers (daijin) may be displayed on the fourth tier

  • Minister of the Right (右大臣, Udaijin)
  • Minister of the Left (左大臣, Sadaijin)

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Sosnoski, Daniel. (1996). Introduction to Japanese culture, p. 10.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Hina Matsuri" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 313.
  3. Hinamatsuri at About.com Archived 2009-10-10 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2013-3-3.
  4. Ginkoya, Girl's Day Archived 2007-03-04 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2013-3-6.
  5. Japanese American National Museum, "Koinobori: Celebrating the Spirit of Boys Day"; retrieved 2013-3-6.
  6. The words dairi means "Imperial palace".
  7. The word hime means "girl" or "princess".

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Hinamatsuri at Wikimedia Commons