Hina-ningyō [雛人形(ひなにんぎょう)]

Hina-ningyō[雛人形(ひなにんぎょう)] is a set of dolls decorated on Hina-matsuri[雛祭り(ひなまつり)](That is an event for girls held on March 3 which is one of the turning point of season, Jyōshi[上巳(じょうし)].).

Hina-ningyō is decorated for praying girl's healthy growth and expresses a wedding scene with a wish for girl's marriage in the future.

Hina-ningyō (Shichidan-kazari)

The origin of Hina-ningyō goes back to the the Heian Period(794-1185). Daughters of noble played house using dolls and miniature furniture and that was called "Hiina-asobi[雛遊び(ひいなあそび)]". This combined with the ceremony of floating human-shaped paper, into which people transferred harm, into river or sea on Jyōshi and Hina-ningyō has become to be decorated on Jyōshi and the event has become to be called "Hina-matsuri".

The ceremony of floating paper transformed to Nagashi-bina[流し雛(ながしびな)](The event of floating dolls on Hina-matsuri) and that event is held even now.

Nagashi-bina at Iwatsuki Castle Site Park
Nagashi-bina at Iwatsuki Castle Site Park

It is commonly said that Hina-ningyō should be decorated from Risshun[立春(りっしゅん)](Spring beginning day, this is around February 4.) to March 3.

Kyōhō-bina[享保雛(きょうほうびな)]:That is Kyōhō Era(1716-1735) style Hina-ningyō, it is bigger than others.

The most Hina-ningyō belongs to Dairi-bina[内裏雛(だいりびな)]. Dairi-bina is a set including a pair of Odairi-sama[お内裏様(おだいりさま)](emperor) and Ohina-sama[お雛様(おひなさま)](empress). There are various kinds of Dairi-bina.


Shinnō-kazari[親王飾り(しんのうかざり)] is a simple set of a pair of Odairi-sama and Ohina-sama.


Sandan-kazari[三段飾り(さんだんかざり)] is a set which has three tiers. The dolls of Odairi-sama and Ohina-sama are on the top tier, three dolls of court ladies called "Sannin-kanjyo[三人官女(さんにんかんじょ)]" are put on the middle tier and five dolls of musicians called "Gonin-bayashi[五人囃子(ごにんばやし)]" are put on the lower tier.

Shichidan-kazari[七段飾り(しちだんかざり)] is a set which has seven tiers. Shichidan-kazari consists of the 15 dolls including above dolls and gorgeous furnishings.


These sets include some decorations such as Bonbori[雪洞(ぼんぼり)](light stands), Byōbu[屏風(びょうぶ)](folding screen) and Sanpō[三宝(さんぽう)](stands for offering). And foods as offerings such as Hishi-mochi[菱餅(ひしもち)]( rhombic Mochi[餅(もち)]) and Hina-arare[雛あられ](dried and sweetened small Mochi) are also decorated with Hina-ningyō.


And Hina-ningyō is divided into two types according to the differences in the manufacturing process.

Ishōgi-ningyō[衣装着人形(いしょうぎにんぎょう)] is a doll wearing Kimono[着物(きもの)] and that is popular.

Kimekomi-ningyō[木目込人形(きめこみにんぎょう)] is a doll made by wood or mix of wood powder and glue, and plunged the cloth into the its curved ditch for seeming wear Kimono. Kimekomi-ningyō has the personality of each artist.


Iwatsuki[岩槻(いわつき)] Ward, Saitama[さいたま] City is famous as a production area of Hina-ningyō and the event of decorating Hina-ningyō around the area is held during the season of Hina-matsuri.

And Asakusabashi[浅草橋(あさくさばし)], Taitō[台東(たいとう)] City, Tokyo is a concentrated area of and famous doll makers' shops.

 Hina-ningyō on stairs at Atago Shrine
Hina-ningyō decorated on stairs
at Atago Shrine, Iwatsuki Ward, Saitama City

Tsurushi-bina[つるし雛](Hanging Hina-ningyō)

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