Today is Girls' Day and for the past couple weeks doll displays have been set up in homes all over Japan.
I'm afraid our family never acquired this lovely display of the Emperor and Empress and all their consorts, musicians and attendants plus all the doll sized implements needed in a traditional palace. Too expensive for one thing and the whole set takes too much space to store during the year (and takes up a quarter of a room when on display!)
This display is set up in the kindergarten and the principal said she was given this exquisite display years ago specifically to use at the kindergarten. I was surprised that she was willing to take the risk of setting the dolls up where there are about 100 kids playing in this room. A stray inside ball could easily break a fragile doll, but they want the children to learn how to be careful around valuables I suppose.
Can you tell that this is a different Girls' Day display? This display was set up at my neighbor's house and I asked to take its picture when I was shown her ikebana arrangement last week. You can see how similar the two are and how the arrangements of the dolls and knick-knacks are set up the same. Maybe the Emperor and Empress are a little more elaborately dressed in the kindergarten display... I think my neighbor's is not as old as the kindergarten's and she said all the doll "furniture" was made of plastic whereas the older displays are all of lacquered wood.
And here is my only acknowledgement of Girls' Day this year. A little quilt I made when Leiya was a baby. It certainly doesn't take up much room and wasn't expensive to make either!