Tokyobling's Blog

Hinanotsurushi Kazari – Hanging Dolls of Inatori

Posted in Japanese Traditions, Places by tokyobling on September 18, 2013

At the end of February and the first days of March every year, all Japanese families with daughters put out the traditional “hinaningyo“, to celebrate the little girl’s day and to make sure they are set up to be happily married sometime in the future. The saying goes that if you leave the dolls out too long (past the third of March) your daughter risks getting married late as well. In the town in Inatori (in the city of Higashiizu) on the Izu peninsula west of Tokyo, in Shizuoka Prefecture, for the last few hundred years at least, the local mothers have taken the tradition one step further, by making the Hinanotsurushi Kazari, or Hina Doll hanging Decorations”. It is said that the crafting of these dolls represent the love of the mother towards the daughter. These dolls can take almost any shape imaginable as long as it is something cute and cuddly that will help the daughter in her future marriage and are hand made by the mother by odd and ends, scraps of cloth and paper or anything else that they had at hand. They are then strung up and hung around the house as decorations. In accordance to the Japanese tradition of renewal and ritual fire cleansing, these dolls were traditionally burnt at the beginning of every year so there are no really old dolls left, but the local tourist association has started collecting some of the best into a special exhibition open to the public in January to Match. I visited earlier this year but I think they hold it every year. It’s a great place to see the many hundred possible varieties of this colorful custom.

If you are in Izu or in Shimoda early in the year I recommend going to see this. You can easily combine it with what is usually the first cherry blossoms to bloom on the Japanese mainland, in March every year!

















10 Responses

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  1. yoshizen said, on September 18, 2013 at 5:04 am

    They are no doubt, very pretty —- though,
    It’s quite an undertaking for a mother isn’t it.
    Much more than a paper craft for a Tanabata decoration.
    Many mothers must have a sigh of relief not to born in this town. 😀


    • tokyobling said, on October 19, 2013 at 3:35 am

      Haha… it is not mandatory, and I don’t think everyone participates. (^-^;) Besides, you could make hundreds of these by just giving up 40 minutes of TV watching each evening. Or even watch TV while you make them. (^-^)


  2. lola said, on September 18, 2013 at 11:11 am

    As a mother i absolutly agree with Yoshizen. What a relief!


    • tokyobling said, on October 19, 2013 at 3:35 am

      I am sure you would make just as nice ones, or even nicer, with a few hours of practice! (^-^)


  3. C said, on September 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    These don’t look like a lot of work — some are fabric scraps stuffed to look like a roll. Colored sushi? Samosas? Greek filo triangles? Sure, why not 🙂 Fun and cute to do!


  4. anjemina said, on September 19, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    They are so pretty! Thank you for sharing these. I’d love to go to Japan and see the blossoms, so I’ll add this to my list!


  5. Jonelle Patrick said, on September 29, 2013 at 6:02 am

    Oh oh oh I am swooning with envy! I wish I had taken these pictures. They are beyond gorgeous. I’ve always loved those little strings of dolls, but you really highlighted their loveliness with your fantastic use of focus and composition. Beautifully done.


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