Katano City Museum of History and Folklore kicked off one of the annual exhibition events from February 5th (until March 31st). The exhibition displays historical Hina dolls and other ornaments relating to the Hinamatsuri festival on March 3rd.
In the Hinamatsuri festival, many families decollate a kit of Hina dolls in order to pray for healthy grow of their daughters. The set of Hina doll includes two main dolls and other female and male attendants. The two main dolls are called “Ohinasama” and “Odairisama”. “Ohinasama” is a female doll and “Odairisama” is a male doll. It is said that their costumes derive from the Heian-noble style in which female nobles have worn several layers of colourful Kimonos.
Katano City Museum collects various historical Hina dolls which have been donated by Katano’s citizens. Mr. Tomofumi Yoshida who is an officer of Katano Education Board says that the museum has about 30 kits of Hina dolls in total. This event displays some Hina dolls which have been made between the Meiji period and the middle of the Showa period.
At the entrance of the museum, “Gotenbina” that has been a popular style in the Kansai area until the beginning of the Showa period welcomes visitors. “Goten” is a palace for nobles and is modelled on a Heian-noble’s palace. In other words, a kit of Hina dolls describes a wedding scene of the so-called Japanese knickerbocker society in the Heian period. In the wedding ceremony, many maids served luxurious dishes to participants and a noble band played ancient Japanese music called “Gagaku”. General people might yearn for such a noble’s gorgeous way of life. Through Hina dolls, they might wish their daughters could spend a happy life as the Heian-nobles did. This is my impression of “Gotenbina”. Of course, you will be able to feel other images from this exhibition.
Interestingly, Japanese dolls called “Ichimatsuningyo” are placed with the Hina dolls. The origin of “Ichimatsu” doll derives from Ichimatsu Sanogawa who is one of outstanding Kabuki actors in the Edo period. The pattern of his Kimono was called “Ichimatsu Moyo” and was employed for the doll. Mr. Yoshida says that Ichimatsu dolls used to be a popular toy for girls to play. Decollating Hina doll and Ichimatsu doll together was a common manner of enjoying the Hinamatsuri festival. This convention was continued until the early Showa period.
The oldest Hina doll style in the museum is “Kyohobina (Kyoho-style Hina dolls)”. “Kyoho” is the Kyoho period from 1716 to 1736. At that time, Tokugawa Shogunate employed an austerity policy in order to mitigate damage of a large-scale famine in west Japan and to rebalance the Shogunate’s budget. Consequently, making and owning luxurious goods were prohibited by Yoshimune Tokugawa who was the 8th shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate. However, it was meaningless for people to display simple Hina dolls. They cleverly hid colourful Hina dolls from monitoring by Shogunate’s authorities and never stopped beautiful Hina festivals.
The female Kyohobina in the museum is also wearing a splendid circular headdress. It is said that the headdress has been modelled on that of Standing Statue of Kannon in Haisenjyuji Temple in Kisaichi. Nobody knows when the Kyoho-style Hina dolls have been made. A few years ago, Iwafune Elementary School donated them to the museum. Now, they are one of the Hina dolls which make the museum event special.
In this event, the five steps Hina decollation is being displayed for the first time. They were made in the early Showa period. The gorgeous decollation is based on the image of Kyoto Imperial Palace. Furthermore, the various ornaments of kitchen tools are also being exhibited. In the Kansai area, Hina dolls were regarded as a piece of the marriage furniture that a bride had to take to her new house. Therefore, a female Hina doll also took the kitchen tools as the bride did.
You will be able to learn how our ancestors have celebrated the Hina festival from the middle of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century through this exhibition. Mr. Yoshida, Mr. Hideshi Takao (a voluntary museum guide), and Ms. Kumiko Kurisu (a part-time archivist) say “We always welcome your coming to the Katano City Museum. We hope our exhibition hooks many people”. The museum opens from Wednesday to Sunday (10a.m. to 5p.m.). The admission fee is free.
Katano City Museum of History and Folklore
9-21 Kuraji 6 Chome
It is a five-minute walk from Keihan Minami Kuraji Bus Stop.
For further information of the museum, please see my webpage.
I owe many thanks to Mr. Tomofumi Yoshida, Mr. Hideshi Takao, and Ms. Kumiko Kurisu. Mr. Yoshida explained to me the details of the exhibitions. I also would like to express my gratitude to Katano Education Board that allowed me to upload this article on the official website of Katano Tourist Association.
Thank you for reading my short essay.
My two websites also provide you with helpful information about Katano City and Hirakata City.
I Love Katano http://www.lovekatano.com
Hirakata Now http://www.hirakatanow.com
Author: Dr. K.S.