Japanese Ornamental Hinamatsuri Dolls: guard with cherry blossoms
A vintage, mid C20th set of Japanese Hinamatsuri, Doll's Day or Girls' Day Ornamental Dolls. Hinamatsuri is a special day in Japan when people pray for the happiness and healthy growth of girls. It is celebrated each year on March 3. Platforms covered with a red carpet are used to display a set of ornamental dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period of 794–1185 AD.
Families generally start to display the dolls in February and take them down immediately after the festival. Superstition says that leaving the dolls past March 4 will result in a late marriage for the daughter.
The top platform holds the Imperial dolls, the Emperor and the Empress.The second tier holds three court ladies.The third tier holds five male musicians.The fourth tier holds two ministers and between them are tables bearing diamond-shaped rice cakes.On the fifth tier are a mandarin orange tree and a cherry blossom tree between which are three guards as the protectors of the Emperor and Empress.
The set is in its original glass case and can be stored in its original cardboard box when not on display.The paper label on the box has in large script Shogetsu “Pine Moon”, in the middle in dark script “Ito City”; to the lower left in dark script Izuya (the makers brand name).The glass case is 32 cm high x 29 cm wide x 26 cm deep.