Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University recently celebrated Hinamatsuri, a Japanese religious festival also known as “Girl’s Day” because it celebrates female children, or “Doll’s Day” because delicately painted and attired dolls are showcased on a red carpeted platform. The ornamental dolls represent a Lord, Princess, and attendants who wear the court dress of the Heian period, the last division of Japanese classical history, running from 794 to 1185.
The Hinamatsuri display at Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University was set up by the head of the Japanese language program, Ajarn Sato, with the help of university students. Ajarn Sato not only teaches Sakon Nakhon university students the Japanese language, but continually introduces them to aspects of Japanese culture, music, and the arts. The Hinamatsuri dolls were displayed in the ground floor of Building 19, the home of the Foreign Language Department. They were enjoyed by both students and faculty alike.
The dolls that you see on the upper platform are Imperial dolls, with the Tono (Lord) holding a ritual baton and the Hime (Princess) holding a fan. On the bottom tier are three court ladies (san-nin kanjo) who are serving sake. In the corners are lamp stands known as bonbori.
Celebrated on March 3rd, Hinamatsuri is a time when Japanese parents pray for the continued health and well being of their daughters, gifting them the ornamental dolls as tokens of their love and symbols of good fortune.