Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Secret of Girls

Hinamatsuri is the Girl’s Festival on March 3rd. It is a day for wishing girls good health and happiness in the future. Special dolls are displayed on stairs. The top man and woman are the Emperor and Empress. The second row has three ladies in waiting, San-nin-Kanjo and the third row, five court musicians, Gonin-Bayashi. This entire collection represents the Emperor’s wedding of Japan from more than 1000 years ago.

The above introduction is well-know fact for everyone. What I will tell you about Hinamatsuri today might be surprising even for Japanese.

I of course have a set of Hina dolls since I was a girl. My Hina dolls who are Emperor, Empress and three ladies are already set in a showcase. Since the number of my dolls a few, I used to enjoy staring every Hina doll and find differences.

One day, I noticed (it was quite later after I have Hina) only the center lady of San-nin-Kanjo doesn’t have eyebrows, the other ladies have natural eyebrows though. What happened to her? Does she have just thin eyebrows from birth? Or she was a girl who used to be bad? All my silly concerns have turned into good incentives to know about Hina dolls.

According to information from the internet, the center lady in San-nin-Kanjo is called “a person who doesn’t have eyebrows, Mayu-nashi.” There used to be a custom in old Japan that women who get married have to shave their eyebrow and paint their tooth black, what is called, Ohaguro. Looking at Hina dolls carefully from that point, the Mayu-nashi lady should be considered to be married and the other ladies are singles. Therefore, elaborate designed Mayu-nashi dolls have black tooth and no eyebrows.

Small Hina dolls not only give people beautiful scenery but also tell them history of old Japan. However, what is most pity thing I have found is that the beautiful Empress needs to shave her eyebrows after the wedding, following this old custom which probably would ruin her beauty.

1 comment:

Piccola said...

this is a very interesting article^^ I think these dolls are pretty. but i have no place to display them. so it's kind of wasted to be in some dark room.