Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Hina Matsuri.

Well, we were all ready to 'Go Welsh' for St. David's Day on Sunday.......until this doll mama lost the three sets of national costumes she'd made.

OK! So we typed up a St. David's Day special, with the plan to show pics of the Bryn Derw kids amongst our newly bloomed out daffodils, instead........Then sleet, hail and snow fell all Saturday night, freezing the daffs and turning the ground round them to a sea of mud......

 So, instead, we are celebrating Hina Masuri today.

My almost D-I-L is Japanese. Today, she and my son went to set the date for their wedding - July 1st, an auspicious day, divined for them by the senior monk at the temple her mother attends. It will be a very ordinary, registry office affair in London, followed by a real and rather splendid ceremony in Japan when it can be arranged, sometime in 2016. The auspicious day was too close for it all to be arranged - for them to have enough time off work or for N's family to make all the arrangements.

To mark the final, formal engagement  today ( the day the wedding is arranged and, by tradition, there was no way of withdrawing by either side) and this day of  honouring of the role of girls and women within the home in Japan, a doll is to be sent to each of the newly related mothers-in-law.

N's mother has always wanted a western style, modern doll to add to the family doll display for this holiday, by which she means one that can have her clothes changed, giving scope for sewing a variety of kimonos. Most traditional Japanese dolls are ornamental and the clothes are fixed.

So, here is one like my new girl to come.

A Paola Reina Japanese girl, all the way from Spain! Her sister has gone to live in Japan.

She  has the white face, traditional for Geisha women. Twins but not exactly the same. It is important to N that both of we mothers are treated the same, indicating that she will now give the same respect to me as she does to her birth mother and that Jake will do the same (Really? Poor Mrs T, does she KNOW how my son winds me up???! He's a joker by nature.)

To ensure that we mums are treated the same, my doll has not been sent to me yet, an attempt to ensure we receive them at about the same time. Not that you can rely on the post to take any longer to get a package to Japan than to me here in Wales, but the attempt is being made.

The outfit is not really authentic. But they are a fun gift and may allow Mrs. T and I to transcend the problems of language difference to share sewing projects.

When the young couple travel to Japan for the more ceremonious version of their wedding, two traditional dolls will be bought. One to go on the T family display in March each year, and one to start a displsy here. These will be the more serious, traditional gifts, like the dolls in the display below.

As though I needed a doll buying excuse, the onus is then on me to gradually amass a doll display to hand down to those daughters that the keep telling me they are not planning to have........

We will see! Doll display - no problem. Grandchildren  - well we westerners are not supposed to interfere with the desire for a family in our own offspring, but maybe Mr and Mrs T will not have that belief that they must mind their own business?!


  1. How lovely! What a great tradition, I will have to investigate if there is anything similar....or dolly related...here in Spain, I think my son and his fiance might 'owe' me!!!! LOL.
    Congratulations to Jake and his lovely girl, that they've set their wedding date and now the fun will begin for them, all the planning for their trip to Japan and all that entails as well as their UK wedding which I'm sure will be just as lovely and memorably special for the pair of them.
    I like the dolls you're getting, and well done young couple for helping out the Spanish economy....most appreciated :)
    Big hugs Sharon xxx

  2. Mum has a few of the Paola Reina Amigas and I have an Epocha Nora and a boy - they are definitely play dolls, but a nice shape to sew for and small enough to display in Mum's little room. Spain has been producing nice vinyl dolls at sensible prices for decades. My daughter couldn't wait to get there to spend her pocket money on them when she was little.

    1. You're right Jenni, Spain has indeed been doing just that, but what is really weird is, I can't seem to find these dolls in shops anywhere! I can find all the usual dolls that don't interest me such as the Monster High, Barbie and Nancy (another Spanish doll) but for the life of me I can't find Paola Reina or any of the other better quality (in my humble opinion of course) dolls.....I can get them on-line, but it would be so nice to be able to see them in person first, wouldn't it!

  3. How nice is that!
    (Sadly my boys doesn't seem to want to mariage.)

    Wishing luck to the family-to-be and to you as well.
    You now have to build a bridge between very different countries - but it's very interesting, isn't it?

    1. Don't worry Anne! Young people marry later these days. My son is 34 and his older sister is not married yet either. Perhaps your sons will surprise you one day!

  4. Well you have landed on your feet!! You get a doll and then will have to build a doll diplay for any grnad daughters!! You are already there!! and you can use it as an excuse to add another doll or two.. after all it's for the grand daughters!! :)
    Congratulations to the happy couple Jake and N and the most perfect day in the whole year to marry 1st July , why that was Princess Diana's birthday but she loved that day because she knew it was MY birthday :) so I just know they will be very very happy :)xx

    1. I know - now who, of all your friends and aquaintances is the one who needs the least encouragement to collect more dolls?! It does seem an odd concept theugh, collecting dolls to pass down to grand daghters that may never be born....

      See, that monk got it right - if it is your birthday, OF COURSE it's an auspicious day! We could rename it the Feast of Saint Dee, or Hang-on-to-your-credit-card-Paul-it's-Dee-wants-a-Sasha-as-a-present Day.

  5. I just love hearing about family traditions and this one is so delightful.
    Certainly one way to increase your doll collection without any eyebrows being raied by the rest of the family as to ever increasing numbers or expense.
    Perhaps a new Sasha Doll might creep in dressed in a Chinese costume at some point in time?