Monday, July 30, 2018

Gorgeous postcard from Japan

On the heels of last week's colorful postcard of Bogatyrs, here's another beautiful piece of ephemera that found its way to my mailbox, via Postcrossing. This one is from Kumiko in Japan, who likes mountaineering, collecting stamps, studying German, and SpongeBob. She writes:
"This postcard is 'Hina-ningyo.' Families display special dolls known as Hina-ningyo on Hina-Matsuri.

Hina-Matsuri, the Festival of Dolls, is held on March 3. People celebrate the health and happiness of girls.

I hope you like this card. HAPPY POSTCROSSING."
This Japanese tradition dates back as far as 1625, as part of the even older Peach Festival. Here is some more background from Wikipedia:
"Families normally ensure that girls have a set of the two main dolls before their first Hinamatsuri. The dolls are usually fairly expensive ($1,500 to $2,500 for a five-tier set, depending on quality) and may be handed down from older generations as heirlooms. The hinazakari spends of most of the year in storage, and girls and their mothers begin setting up the display a few days before March 3. ... Traditionally, the dolls were supposed to be put away by the day after Hinamatsuri, the superstition being that leaving the dolls any longer will result in a late marriage for the daughter, but some families may leave them up for the entire month of March. Practically speaking, the encouragement to put everything away quickly is to avoid the rainy season and humidity that typically follow Hinamatsuri."

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