Basic knowledge of History and Culture


HistoryHistory and Origin of Hina Dolls

Doll games, which were popular at the time, eventually became an event to pray for happiness.
In the court of the Heian period (794-1185), doll games called "Hiina-asobi" were popular not only among young princesses of the nobility but also among adult women. "Hiina", which means “pretty thing”, meant "dolls" at the time. Pairs of beautifully decorated male and female Hiina were often played with. In those days, court ladies made Hina dolls by hand, and it was not until the Muromachi period (1336-1573) that specialists such as Buddhist priests and Noh mask makers began to make Hina dolls. This was combined with the "Joushi-no-Sekku" festival on March 3 to form the "Hinamatsuri," a festival to wish for the happiness of girls.
From the mid-Edo period, the trend of giving Hina dolls as gifts began to grow.
Today's Hina dolls range from "Shinno-kazari" (one pair of dolls), "Nidan-kazari" (two-tiered display), "Sandan-kazari” (three-tiered display), "Godan-kazari" (five-tiered display), and "Nanadan-kazari" (seven-tiered display), with the “dan-kazari” tiered decorations becoming more popular during the Genroku period (1688-1704). In the early Edo period (1603-1867), when Hinamatsuri became widely popular among the people, standing or seated Hina dolls were displayed on a flat stand in front of a folding screen placed in a corner of the tatami room. Hina dolls made in Kyoto, which are known as the finest in the country, are called "Kyo Hina", and are considered to be the origin of Hina dolls.