Hinamatsuri Doll at the Hojuji Temple - The Emperor
Hinamatsuri Doll at the Hojuji Temple - The Empress


Hina Matsuri (雛祭り), also called Doll’s Day or Girls’ Day, is a special day celebrated each year on March 3 in Japan.  Platforms covered with a red carpet are used to display a set of ornamental dolls (雛人形 Hina-Ningyō) representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period.


The Hinamatsuri dolls display at the Hojuji Temple



As usual in Japan, every detail is following a given rule or tradition. The top tier holds two dolls, known as imperial dolls.

The second tier holds three court ladies – san-nin kanjo.

The third tier holds five male musicians – gonin bayashi.

Two ministers (daijin) may be displayed on the fourth tier. The Minister of the Right (Udaijin) is depicted as a young person, while the Minister of the Left (Sadaijin) is much older.

The fifth tier, between the plants, holds three helpers or samurai as the protectors of the Emperor and Empress.

And then on the sixth and seventh tiers, a variety of miniature furniture, tools, carriages, etc., are displayed.



I’m not much of a doll amateur, but these dolls at the Hojuji Temple located next to the Sanjusangendô Temple were truly beautiful. Several complete sets of the display are presented, some of them quite old, some handmade by the priest mother and grand mother. If you’re in town on or around March 3rd, this is definitely worth a visit.

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