Thursday, February 08, 2018

Retired Hina Dolls

For the last few years, you may have seen some small hina dolls in unexpected places or in unusual postures.

At the Chubu International Airport, I saw hina dolls sitting casually along a sidewalk into a building. They didn't sit neatly on a tiered stage, just like you would expect with a regular set of hina dolls on display. 

Rather, they were placed in many spaces and on corners, and they were in some vivid, realistic poses. Some are reading newspapers or books, and some talking over a cup of coffee together; some hoist a flag of welcome to tourists, and some look happy with shopping bags in their arms.

They are happily "retired hina dolls".

When their outfits got worn out over the years and were not suitable to be displayed at home, people handed them down to various public communities in towns and cities across the country. People arranged those dolls to entertain visitors, so as to energize communities during the hina doll festive season.

So they are called “fuku-yose-bina” in Japanese, which literally means “good luck inviting hina dolls.”

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