Peach Festival=Doll Festival

This page is written monthly by Harumi Okochi,
and sometimes Harumi's friends join.
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r previous issues.


March, 2004

My Ohina-sama

 You know March the 3rd is our Doll Festival Day.
Ohina-sama, we call the festival, and the word also means the dolls themselves.

I would like to show you very special Ohina-sama to you.
This old set of Ohina-sama was bought for my sister Yumi, when she was born in 1941 in Pusan, Korea.
That was just before the war, and Korea was still a part of Japan.
It was before Japanese people were made to realize that we had been mistaken.
I might say that these dolls were made at the last moments of the Empire of the Rising Sun. I was born in Pusan too in 1944, but it was not a time for thinking about dolls. The Sun was setting. So I could never have my Ohina-sama.

It might have been a miracle that these dolls were safe through the harsh time.
My mother had sent them to Japan and my aunt kept them safe.
In August, 1945, the war ended and Korea was restored. Our family left Pusan, leaving the property there, and arrived at Karatsu. We had nothing, but Yumi could see her dolls again.

When Yumi had her own daughter, a new set of modern Ohina-sama was afforded. So her old dolls came to me. I was very happy to get the late Ohina-sama. I displayed them in Yoyokaku once in some years.

This year, after a long interval of ten years or more, I suddenly thought I would get the dolls out of the boxes. I will let my mother, 88 years old and forgets everything now, see the dolls again. She might remember the happy old days when she was a young mother, even if she forgets about today.

Maybe you will think my dolls look different from those you can find everywhere. Faces of my dolls are all baby faces. including the Minister of the Left, who usually has a long white beard.

I hope you will say hello to my sweet little Ohina-sama dolls.
I will tell you a secret if you won't tell others. Dolls talk to each other at night when you are not watching. If you let my dolls stay displayed on your computer whole night, they will talk. Most probably they will say, "You've got a mail"

Wooden chest for Ohina-sama dolls and the altar-stairs

Setting up the stairs.

Red carpet on the stairs

There are 7 stairs

The top stair: "Dairi -sama" (Emperor and Empress)

( candle shade)
Emperor Peach blossoms Empress Bonbori

The 2nd stair: "Sannin-Kanjo" (Three court ladies-in-waiting)

Holding Sake-pot Sweets Holding sake-cup Sweets Holding ladle Hishimochi

The 3rd stair: Gonin-bayashi (Five court musicians)

Taiko(Drum) O-tuzumi
Yokobue(flute) Utai(Chanter)

The 4th stair: Udaijin and Sadaijin (Two Ministers of Right and Left)
*Right and Left: seen from the Emperor

Udaijin(Minister of Right) Table for Emperor Table for Empress Sadaijin(Minister of Left)

The 5th stair: Furniture

Chest Sewing box Hibachi (Stoves) Mirror Lunch-boxes

The 6th stair: Eji (Servants) and the Trees same as Kyoto Imperial Castle

Orange tree Holding umbrella Holding Emperor's shoes Holding parasol Cherry tree

The 7th stair: Carriages for Emperor and Empress

Okago Gosho-guruma (Coach and the cow)

And here are the full display and my mother's happy smile.

Thank you for seeing my dolls. I hope you like them.
I hope Mother will be able to see them next year again.

See you next month!

Thank you very much for visiting this page.
I hope you will return next month.
Yours, Harumi Okochi

Proprietress of Ryokan Yoyokaku

  Mail to Harumi Okochi