Saturday, May 2

Iwamura no Hinamatsuri

A flag announcing Hinamatsuri and the displays in historic Iwamura shitamachi.

Ok, a mite after the fact and irrelevant now...

Hinamatsuri! A day for girls... and dolls! While the boys have Children's Day during Golden Week (oh, the Koinobori!), girls have Hinamatsuri, where expensive setups of dolls are displayed, often for a whole month.

A backyard garden.

Fortunately, this coincided with me still being in town and having time to go and see the displays in Iwamura, an incorporated part of my city. As our last class, My Ladies (the ladies of my English Circle at a community center - my circle of Japanese Moms) and I chose to go and see the dolls on display and have a little something to eat (of course!).

Edo Jidai
From the Edo Period, these dolls are over 100 years old.

Hinamatsuri displays - with the Hina-sama - focus around and Emperor and Empress and may include an extensive court and array of other lower folks, like this archer.

Emperor, Empress, Jiji, Baba.
From the same display.

Nozoki Gallery
Come in and take a peek!

More Edo Jidai Hinasama

Perhaps 100-200 years old.

While this wasn't my first time strolling the historic streets of Iwamura, it was my first time to go into any of the shops, and certainly into the Katsukawa-ke house, the preserved home of a wealthy landowner who was also a merchant of rice and other goods, owning a large warehouse.

Double display of mid-20th century dolls

About 200 years old

What a blessing to have lived in the Land of Goheimochi and Karasumi.

That day for lunch we had the Goheimochi Teishoku, which came with one stick of negimiso goheimochi (miso with leeks) and one regular kurumimiso, your standard miso, walnut, sesame, etc. goheimochi. Plus some tea, cukes, soup that made one think of really old, traditional houses (I don't know why I got that sensation. I must have had it somewhere like that...), yummy horenso goma-ae (spinach cooked with sesame) and daikon salad (meh).

Maybe from the 40's or 50'?
My Ladies said they looked like the hinasama they had as little girls.

Back Down
After checking out the cool "tower" room, some of My Ladies make the perilous trip back down the steep, narrow stairway.

Shoji with a Window
Multiple rooms open onto the indoor roukan that borders the inner garden.

This treacherous set of stairs takes you to an upper front room where the servants slept.

From the second-floor servants' quarters.
The room looked out over the street, and had a low, poorly insulated roof that would not have kept out the winter winds so bitter in Iwamura. Perhaps the original was better suited for keeping folks warm.

Kutsu no Hina
Everybody's got Hinasama

Edo Jidai

Growing just about everywhere, Horsetail is gathered even from the side of the road and enjoyed as a spring treat.

Ushi no Hinasama
It's Ushidoshi, y'all!

From inside a store.

Hinoki Hinasama
Made from Japanese (false) cypress


Clay Hinasama

Store where we bought delicious karasumi, a sweet treat made from rice powder and specific to the Ena area.

I forgot what version of Hinasama my ladies said these were...

Hina Castle
See a closeup here.

200-year-old Hinasama
For a closeup look here.

Hinasama dating from 1760.
For a double portrait, see here.

A pair that, if I'm not mistaken, were gifts from the powers that be residing in Iwamura Castle at the time. They are over 200 years old.
Her Majesty. His Majesty.

Just a few of the musicians and other dolls lining an overhead shelf at the small restaurant where we popped in for lunch.

On a bamboo swing.

Buying Karasumi

猫柳 Pussy Willow!
We used to have a pussy willow tree in the backyard at my first house (until I was 5), so it is near and dear to my heart.

Iwamura Castle Manhole Cover

Old Iwams

At the end of the day, Ono-san gave me the tape she'd been filming all day, to my surprise and delight. But now I just have to figure out how to watch it...

It was a great day, and a great way to spend our last class. I miss My Ladies!


Blogger Tabag said...

Ohh! Your ladies!

11:27 PM


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