|Have you ever wondered about...|
Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival)? - An Update
By Emy Murakawa
Source Information: Anecdotal
Two years ago, I wrote about Hinamatsuri (Japanese Doll Festival), which is observed each March 3. In that piece, there was mention of the fact that the dolls were to be put up shortly before March 3, and that it was considered “bad luck” (supposedly impacting the girl’s marriage potential) to leave the dolls out much beyond March 3. I remarked at that time that I thought it was a shame because I couldn’t understand this type of superstition when it was such a joyful celebration. Well, I seem to have support in this thinking! I think it is great that traditional culture can evolve while still preserving the best parts of what makes it unique.
I had also mentioned that we had been unable to find the set my parents had gotten for my daughter. Our house has been impacted with “stuff” from first, having my mother move in, then having my mother-in-law move in, and also from my son moving a lot of
his stuff in when he finished college. Serendipitously, my husband went in to try to clear up some room in the attic by throwing out some old boxes of stored documents and my daughter’s doll set came up for air!
I was very excited and set them up immediately, only to find that the tiny lanterns had been bug-eaten! If you look carefully, you can see the holes (more easily on the one on the right). I immediately went in search of replacements, to no avail. Evidently, here in the US, the component pieces are not available for these sets. The few lanterns that were available would not have fit. So, my last ditch effort was to write my cousin in Japan. She indicated that even for her, there was a lot of difficulty locating these small lanterns. She was finally able to get them for me, but not in time for our Hinamatsuri
observation. I had decided to leave the cased dolls out for all those years they hadn’t been displayed, but had put the rest of the display away. It was when I told her that I had left this set out and put the new lamps in that she told me that even in Japan, it has become customary to leave the dolls up until April 3! So another custom has changed, and we are witness to it!
By Gail Sharp
April Photo 1
April Photo 2
April Photo 3
It would require using quite a magnifying glass to identify the subjects in these photographs. These photos are from 1920 to 1960. Please add your voice to Talk Story by sending submissions to email@example.com.
“From left to right: Hisa Miya, Mas Nobunaga, George Matsuzaki, Mike Isomoto, Thomas Lee, Mike Tenno, Frank Yoshikawa, Mrs. Yoshikawa, Tom Ikemoto, Mike Murakami and George Nojima. The person in front is Haruki Yamanaka.
After a beautiful day of fishing and being the last club derby, we decided to take this picture. This photo was taken at Sierra Gables Apartments and Motel above Lake Crowley. Usually we go by bus but with only a handful of people, we carpooled. Also, we are all retired or semi-retired. ‘A day of fishing beats any day of work.’”
~ Tom Ikemoto
Yikes, I need to write a retraction! Last month I mistakenly identified George Matsuzaki (third from left) as George Shintaku. It’s a good thing that I have an optometrist appointment coming up soon.
“Thank you,” Tom, for calling and dropping off your talk story at the VJCC office. Thanks also for the additional information which I am saving for a future column. Oh, and Tom, don’t forget Talk Story: 1920 to 1960 on Saturday, May 16. We’re saving a seat for you!