Hina Matsuri                       


What is Hina Matsuri?

Hina Matsuri Decoration 2014

A Monchhichi girl and her Hina Matsuri decoration

Hina Matsuri Monchhichi Decoration 2013

History Of Hina Matsuri

Hina Matsuri Decoration With Japanese Dolls

Monchhichi Emperor And Empress

Hina Matsuri Mini Decoration

Ogura Hyakunin Isshu

Hina Matsuri Monchhichi Decoration 2002

What is Hina Matsuri?

Hina Matsuri is the japanese festival for young girls, which is celebrated at March 3rd in modern times.

It is an event where people hope for growth and happiness for girls
and it is called "Momo-no-Sekku", which
means "festival of peach".
"Hina" is an ancient word and means "doll" and "Matsuri" means "festival".
"Momo" means "peach" and "Sekku" is another word for "festival". The festival is also often called the Peach Festival.

At this day gracefull dolls dressed in ancient costumes are displayed in a layout with different steps.
This decoration stands for about one month.


Hina MAtsuri 2014

In 2014 I decorated my Hina Matsuri display with Kimekomi dolls.
They look very cute and are so kawaii!.

Monchhichis celebrate Hina Matsuri 2014

Cherry and Evie are overwhelmed by the cute dolls.

"Oh, how lovely they are".
Miffy likes them too.

Bluebelle celebrates Hina Matsuri 2014

Bluebelle's first Hina Matsuri decoration.

It was such an important day, so that her portrait was painted.

Bluebelle in her new kimono.

What? I should touch them?

Monchhichi baby girl and Bluebelle try to touch the Kimekomi dolls.
But they are so worthy, that Bluebelle is a bit shy to put her hands on them.

Hina MAtsuri 2013

A Monchhichi girl and her Hina Matsuri decoration

Today I want to show you a real Hina Matsuri decoration.

Here you can see the dolls of the Emperor and the Empress.
It is a display of the first platform. A complete display could consist of 7 platforms.

Be careful !!

She is so beautiful.

All the little accessories are so precious!

It is so fascinating.
I want to arrange my own display, please!

Today we arrange the Hina Matsuri decoration,
which you got from your grandparents when you were born.

A new born girl seeing her first Hinamatsuri is likely to receive a gift of Hinaningyo,
a set of special dolls, from her grandparents for this day.
These dolls are displayed every year by the family wishing her to grow up in health and in safety. 

Take the different items out of the storage box,
 put them on the table and try to arrange them carefully.

Yeaaaaah, my Hina Matsuri decoration is ready!

Wow, your Hina Matsuri decoration is so wonderful.
Let's play with the dolls.

Hina Matsuri Monchhichi decoration 2013

I always wanted to arrange a 7 platform Hina Matsuri decoration out of Monchhichis.
I try to arrange the whole decoration as much as possible true to the original japanese arrangement rules,
but I do not have always the exact costumes or accessories. 

I display some of my Monchhichis like Japanese girls do it at their Hina Matsuri day.
The dolls represent the Emperor and Empress, the court ladies, the musicians, the ministers and the attendants.
A set of Hina-dolls usually consists of at least 15 dolls, all in ancient costumes. 

First platform

The top tier holds two dolls, known as imperial dolls (内裏雛 (だいりびな), dairi-bina).
These are the Emperor (御内裏様, Odairi-sama) holding a ritual baton (笏, shaku) and sword 
and Empress (御雛様, Ohime-sama) holding a fan.
The words dairi means "imperial palace", and hime means "girl" or "princess".
The dolls are usually placed in front of a gold folding screen byōbu (屏風) and placed beside green Japanese garden trees.
Optional are the two lampstands, called bonbori (雪洞), and the paper or silk lanterns that are known as hibukuro (火袋),
which are usually decorated with cherry or ume blossom patterns. Complete sets would include accessories placed between the two figures, known as sanbō kazari (三方飾), composing of two vases of artificial peach branch kuchibana (口花).
The traditional arrangement had the male on the right, while modern arrangements had him on the left (from the viewer's perspective).


Second Platform

The second tier holds three court ladies san-nin kanjo (三人官女). Each holds sake equipment.
From the viewer's perspective, the standing lady on the right is the long-handled sake-bearer Nagae no chōshi (長柄の銚子),
the standing lady on the left is the backup sake-bearer Kuwae no chōshi (加えの銚子)
and the only lady in the middle is the seated sake bearer Sanpō (三方).
Accessories placed between the ladies are takatsuki (高坏), stands with round table-tops for seasonal sweets, excluding hishimochi.

Omochi (seasonal sweet candy)

Third platform


The third tier holds five male musicians gonin bayashi (五人囃子).
Each holds a musical instrument except the singer, who holds a fan. Left to right, from viewer's perspective, they are the:
1. Small drum Taiko (太鼓), seated
 2. Large drum Ōtsuzumi (大鼓), standing
3. Hand drum Kotsuzumi (小鼓), standing
4. Flute Fue (笛), or Yokobue (横笛), seated
5. Singer Utaikata (謡い方), holding a folding fan sensu (扇子), standing. 

Fourth Platform

Two ministers (daijin) are displayed on the fourth tier:
the Minister of the Right (右大臣, Udaijin) and the Minister of the Left (左大臣, Sadaijin).
The Minister of the Right is depicted as a young person, while the Minister of the Left is much older.
Also, because the dolls are placed in positions relative to each other,
the Minister of the Right will be on the viewer's left and the Minister of the Left will be on the viewer's right.
Both are sometimes equipped with bows and arrows. Between the two figures are covered bowl tables kakebanzen (掛盤膳),
also referred to as o-zen (お膳), as well as diamond-shaped stands hishidai (菱台) bearing diamond-shaped ricecakes hishimochi (菱餅). Hishidai with feline-shaped legs are known as nekoashigata hishidai (猫足形菱台).
Just below the ministers: on the rightmost, a mandarin orange tree Ukon no tachibana (右近の橘),
and on the leftmost, a cherry blossom tree Sakon no sakura (左近の桜). Sometimes there are two tray tables (お膳 ozen or 膳 zen) between them.

The Minister of the Right (右大臣, Udaijin).

The Minister of the Left (左大臣, Sadaijin).

diamond-shaped stands hishidai (菱台)
bearing diamond-shaped ricecakes hishimochi (菱餅).

Tray table (お膳 ozen or 膳 zen).

Fifth Platform

The fifth tier, between the plants,
holds three attendants (仕丁jichô, shichô, shitei), also named “the three attendants” ( 三人仕丁 sannin jichô)
gate guards (衛士 eji ), also named the “three gate guards” ( 三人衛士 (sannin eji ) or
samurai as the protectors of the Emperor and Empress.

From left to right (viewer's perspective):
1. Maudlin drinker nakijōgo (泣き上戸). He holds a stand umbrella ( 台笠 dai-gasa).
2. Cantankerous drinker okorijōgo (怒り上戸). He holds a shoe stand ( 沓台 kutsu dai).
3. Merry drinker waraijōgo (笑い上戸). He holds a another umbrella ( 立傘 tategasa, tatekasa).
Sometimes there are two tray tables (お膳 ozen or 膳 zen) between them.

   Maudlin drinker nakijōgo (泣き上戸).
He holds a stand umbrella ( 台笠 dai-gasa).

Cantankerous drinker okorijōgo (怒り上戸).
He holds a shoe stand ( 沓台 kutsu dai).

   Merry drinker waraijōgo (笑い上戸).
He holds an another umbrella ( 立傘 tategasa, tatekasa).

A mandarin orange tree Ukon no tachibana (右近の橘).                     A cherry blossom tree Sakon no sakura (左近の桜).

Sixth Platform

These are items used within the palatial residence:

•    tansu (箪笥) : chest of (usually five) drawers, sometimes with swinging outer covering doors.
•    nagamochi (長持) : long chest for kimono storage.
•    hasamibako (挟箱) : smaller clothing storage box, placed on top of nagamochi.
•    kyōdai (鏡台) : literally mirror stand, a smaller chest of drawer with a mirror on top.
•    haribako (針箱) : sewing kit box.
•    two hibachi (火鉢) : braziers.
•    daisu (台子) : a set of ocha dōgu (お茶道具) or cha no yu dōgu (茶の湯道具), utensils for the tea ceremony.

daisu (台子) : a set of ocha dōgu (お茶道具) or cha no yu dōgu (茶の湯道具),
utensils for the tea ceremony.

Seventh Platform

These are items used when away from the palatial residence:

•    jubako (重箱), a set of nested lacquered food boxes with either a cord tied vertically around the boxes or a stiff handle that locks       them together.
•    gokago (御駕籠 or 御駕篭), a palanquin.
•    goshoguruma (御所車), an ox-drawn carriage favored by Heian nobility. This last is sometimes known as gisha or gyuusha (牛車)).
•    Less common, hanaguruma (花車), an ox drawing a cart of flowers.

History of Hina MAtsuri

The Hinamatsuri has three origins which can be traced back to the Heian Period (794 - 1192 A.D.).

1. One is a tradition in which young girls played with paper dolls called Hiina Asobi.
2. Another is a Chinese based tradition for giving offerings to the Gods at the change of each season.
3. The most significant one, though, is an ancient Japanese practice to rub a Katashiro or Hitogata,
a paper human resemblance, on a person's body and set it adrift on rivers or the sea.
It was believed that washing away these human resemblances would wash away impurity and evil spirits.
On the other hand, these human resemblances were considered as Gods also.

These three traditions were blended together and the dolls became artistic and sophisticated
during the Muromachi Period (1338 - 1573 A.D.).
The celebration itself was established and popularized as a girls'festival during the mid Edo Period (1603 - 1867 A.D.)
when it became something similar to what we know today. 

HinA MAtsuri Decoration with japanese dolls

Here you can see my two beautiful Hina dolls.
It was a great moment when I hold them in my hands for the first time.
They are so precious for me.
 I took some photos of the dolls to show the super detailed clothes and accessories
and moreover the wonderful painted faces.

Here you can see, how the clothes look from the back.

The Empress (御雛様, Ohime-sama) holding a fan.


Look at her beautiful long hair!

The fan is an accessory which is put at the doll when she is displayed.

I love her beautiful and detailed painted face.

The Emperor (御内裏様, Odairi-sama) holding a ritual baton (笏, shaku) and sword.

Super detailed painted hair at the back.

A ritual baton (笏, shaku).

The hat, the baton and the sword are accessories which are put on the doll when he is displayed.

Detailed painted face.

My two Hina dolls have classical faces, which means that they have different facial expressions.
Modern dolls often have the same facial expression at the male and female doll.

Monchhichi Emperor and Empress

Finally, it was a must for me to put my Monchhichi Emperor and Empress,
onto the original Hina Matsuri Decoration. Aren't they looking cute?

Hina Matsuri Mini Decoration

Hina Matsuri decoration at the Monchhichi Cafe.

The Monchhichi Cafe owners are always happy
to display their Hina Matsuri decoration at March 03 every year.

Do you see the signs at the folding screen?

Ogura Hyakunin Isshu

I wondered about the content of the signs at the folding screen. 
It is a famous poem in the New Year's card game.
Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) is a classical Japanese anthology of one hundred Japanese poetry (waka) by one hundred poets. Hyakunin isshu can be translated to "one hundred people, one poem [each]"; it can also refer to the card game of uta-garuta,
which uses a deck composed of cards based on the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.

For more  Desciption see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogura_Hyakunin_Isshu

In the famous New Year's card game, one person reads one poetry.
It is a short poetry of Japanese ancient times called a 31-syllable Japanese poem.
It is read using the language of 5, 7, 5, 7, and 7.

The meaning of this 31-syllable Japanese poem is this.

Eight-fold cherry flowers
That at Nara--ancient seat
Of our state--have bloomed,
In our nine-fold palace court
Shed their sweet perfume today.
(Lady Ise no Osuke)

Here is the site which translated the New Year's card game into English :
The poetry on the folding screen is 61st poetry. 

At this video you can hear, how the poem Nr.61 of the New Year's card game (Ogura-hyakunin-Isshu) is read.
It is alway read at a peculiar time. It seems as if the poem is sung.

This is a video where the english translation is attached to the photograph

of the card game of a New Year's card game
( 100 pieces of poetry.= Ogura-hyakunin-Isshu).

Hina MAtsuri 2012


I like the kind of design of the dresses of the emperor and empress very much.

Hina MAtsuri 3d-Greeting Cards 2012


I am so excited about the amazing details in that card. It is a little world of its own.



Here you can see videos of 2 Hina Matsuri Greeting Cards with sound.

Hina MAtsuri Monchhichi Decoration 2002


This was my frist try in 2002 to display a Hina Matsuri decoration
 consisting only of Monchhichis.


Emperor and Empress



Court ladies , Ministers of the left and right, musicians









Monchhichi Exchange

photo copyright by Kaoru Suga. The photo is used with kindly permission.

Please watch how my Monchhichi girl Emily celebrates
her first Hina Matsuri festival in Japan in 2012.

Here you can watch Cherry celebrating her first Hina Matsuri
in Germany 2013.

see also : Monchhichi Exchange

Websites about Hina Matsuri:

Hina matsuri at Wikipedia

Doll´s Festival

About Hina matsuri


You may watch another of my websites
regarding the boys festival Koinobori:


Here you can listen to the melody of the Hina Matsuri song (you may stop the musicplayer below first)
The midi-file is taken by courtesy of
Here you can listen to children singing the Hina Matsuri song as MP3 recording
and watch more informations regarding Hina Matsuri
Mama Lisa's Hina Matsuri page


                                                              This video explains the meaning of Hina Matsuri very well.

                                                                                At this video you see the celebration of Hina Matsuri at a shrine.


     Another super cute video with a dear friends daughter singing the Hina Matsuri song.

  I am happy to publish this video with the kind permission of the owner. Thank you.

Translation of the Hina Matsuri song:    



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