While some people have a collection of dolls, I now have a small collection of photographs of dolls.
In the last few days, I've seen many dolls on display in honor of Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival or Girl's Day), which is today.
These are special, ornamental dolls of the Emperor and Empress as they looked during Japan's Heian period. (794 to 1185 A.D.) Some of the more elaborate displays have seven tiers, that include dolls of men and ladies of the court. I saw one of these displays on Saturday at preschool...
I also saw a few handmade depictions of the Emperor and Empress at the preschool... :)
Here is the doll display at Mugyo Jr. High School...
In addition to displaying dolls for Girls' Day, people pray for the growth and happiness of young girls. Families with daughters eat colorful bite-sized rice crackers called arare, as well as chirashizushi -- sushi rice flavored with sugar, vinegar, that is topped with raw fish and a variety of ingredients.
A package of rice crackers (with an illustration of the dolls) was served with the school lunch today...
By the way, this is a very typical school lunch: some kind of soup, some sort of meat, some kind of salad (usually with seaweed in it, like this one), bread (or rice), milk, and usually a piece of fruit. (The crackers replaced the fruit today.)
In just a couple of weeks, there will be another holiday -- White Day, on March 14th, which is when women receive chocolates from men.
I guess March is a good month for females!