Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Our Affection to the dolls

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Well, Hina Matsuri(Doll's Festival) is coming along tomorrow.
It's my favorite traditional event of all the annual events in our culture.
It's a decorative and colorful display of gorgeous dolls dressed in ancient imperial court wardrobe. Hina Matsuri on March 3 is certainly a sign of an arrival of long awaited spring. In accordance with the ancient calender, I already set up the dolls in the room in advance in February.
Hina Matsuri (Doll's Festival) became so popular among any classes of people in Edo Period (17th to 19th century). Of course it was at first a custom just being limited in the federal families then while the whole nation became stable without any battles, people began to be fulfilled with the same practice that their ruling class had enjoyed for years and years.

Just think. I wonder how come we've been carried away with this custom for centuries. People and dolls------ever since man's civilization, we often connected with some objects which were made to resemble ourselves-----figures, icons, statues, sculptures----and here are what we call "dolls."

Speaking of the Japanese people in olden days, they started the Doll's Festival with the belief that the dolls should take places of their little daughters and bring every evil , disease and bad luck away from their little ones. Parental wish to their children for healthy, wealthy and happy marriage life is universal regardless of time and places.
Dolls are so special and precious for the Japanese in the way that they take our places wearing all the evils and diseases. This is true to any other common practice when we decorate the dolls at home. Not only Doll's Festival for girls but also dolls for boys displayed on Children's Day of May 5th.
Dolls are not simply toys for the Japanese but effigies so to speak. This special sentiment towards dolls explains that people just hesitate throwing them away as a trash when they get too old.  So we bring them to the temples and the shrines where monks and priests bless the abandoned dolls and eventually burn them with prayers of gratitude. This is what people and dolls are all about in Japan. Dolls are so dear to us as if we were seeing ourselves in them. I believe there should be the similar stories somewhere in other countries, for sure.
Human traditions are indeed worth being cherished and admiring.

Thank you for reading a long post ;)

You may go back to my previous posts on Doll's Festival if you want to.


A Bookaholic said...

Wowww didnt know the Japanese regard dolls with such reverence!

Dionne said...

Wow, it's that time of year again! I remember last year when you blogged about it. Such an intriguing tradition!

Janine said...

Hi Mekkan, I love the japanese dolls too, they look so delicate, so beautifull, and you're celebrating spring is coming? how nice that is, I celebrate with you ☺ thanks for this wonderfull entrance, big hug, janine

orchid said...

They sure are pretty and marverous tradition. Mouri(毛利邸), where is 1 hour away from my city, has display of them.
I remember mine was damaged by mouse ^^;)

Mekkan said...

Thanks everyone for lovely comments and for reading a loooong post.

I'd like to share Hinamatsuri with you wherever you are. Have a nice March 3rd!

Au and Target said...

Now that explains a lot! I always wondered why so many Japanese dolls are so exquisitely made. Some even have navels!

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

Great tradition~ The details are incredible!

Anya said...

I love your dolls !!!
i'm also very happy that spring will coming soon :-)