Hinamatsuri - Girls Day

On March 3rd we have a day called Hinamatsuri. It's for wishing girls happiness. Dolls are bought every year to represent the emperors family. Over the years many rows are on display on March 3rd, as you grow each year older each year, your collection expands, usually given to you by your Mother and Grandmother. 


In the Edo period, not so many people can afford to display hina dolls in their homes. Craftsmen started to make, “Tsurushi Bina” instead. The dolls are made of the tiny pieces of kimonos, sewn and made a shape of flowers like plum, sakura, hydrangea, animals like rabbits, boar, dogs, vegetables like carrots, daikon radish, birds like owls, sparrows, and dolls like babies, etc. They are are hung over a babies crib and likewise new strings with characters are added

Each dolls has meaning:

For instance, rabbits represent that girls grow to be kind. Hydrangeas mean family’s bond. Carrots mean health.

Tsurushi-bina” makes small doll and “Okazari” (lucky motif) with “HAGIRE” (small cloth).
It”s hung on red string from a circle of a thin bamboo stick.

Each doll and “Okazari” contains wishes one by one.

For example.
・Peach: Amulet, longevity and prosperity of descendants.
・”kinchaku” (wallet): Don’t trouble about money.
・Rabbit: Errand of God.
・Book: To be able to read and write.



It is said that “Tsurushi-bina” has 110 kinds of motif.

There are three famous birthplace of “Tsurushi-bina”.
And, its names are different in the birthplace.

- Fukuoka region: “Sagemon”.
- Shizuoka region: “Hina-no-tsurushi-kazari”.
- Yamagata region: “Kasa-Fuku”.

If a mother, a grandmother, friends, and even neighbors want to wish a happiness of a new born girl baby, each makes a small doll. Then they suspend those dolls on a string, “Tsurushi bina,” which become an amulet for a new born girl baby.

A dog doll stands for a wish of a healthy baby as well as a charm against bad luck.

A flower of Japanese plum stands for a wish of growing beautifully just like a flower.

“Haikoningyo”, a doll of a baby crawling, stand for a wish of a baby to grow up bravely by crawling a lot.

A strawberry doll stands for a charm against bad luck.

“Harukoma”, a doll of a horse, stand for a wish of growing bravely and playing fun as well as having a steady work when she grows up.

“Houzuki”, a doll of a Chinese lantern plant, stands for a wish of avoiding feminine ailments.


There are some types of Tsurushi bina, to hang, to put on the floor and so on. We can choose them according to the lifestyles. Making small dolls and putting them together to wish happiness of the baby is one of the beautiful cultures in Japan.