The Hina dolls were exhibited at the Spirit Room beginning on March 3rd in honor of and in recognition of the Hinamatsuri Festival of Japan, which is celebrated on that date to honor young girls (Hina, girls; Matsuri, festival).
In Japan the young girl's family and friends share Japanese sweets (moji), exhibit their own Hina Doll collection and wish for a happy and prosperous life for the young girl(s). This always includes the hope for a successful marriage,” Said Vern Hunter, President of the Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society.
The alluring created dolls, Hina, are displayed on a red-carpeted stepped platform. One interesting thing about Hina dolls is how they celebrate femininity.
One Japanese website, Nippon, explained. “In the past, a festival dedicated to the celebration of girls was a rare event among the broader culture dominated by men. However, as the country works to bring women to the forefront of society, the Hinamatsuri has taken on a new aspect as an event celebrating not just the young but all womankind. For that reason, Hinamatsuri is also called Doll’s Day or Girls’ Day.
After showing me these ornamental dolls, Hunter shared the site of the Garden Society’s future Japanese garden. “We have five and a half acres of property along 28th Avenue North near University Drive that is owned by the Fargo Park District, but they are allowing us to grow an arboretum and botanic gardens on the site. As part of the Botanic Gardens, we are planning a Japanese Garden. If you drive along 28th Avenue you will see a Japanese Gate.
“Because of our interest in Japanese Gardens and our desire to build one, we were recommended to receive a complete exhibit of Hina Dolls. The dolls were gifted to us by a Japanese friendship group named JACES (Japanese-American Cultural Exhange Society).”
This could be another good opportunity to learn about Japanese culture, with Hina dolls. Hunter was hoping to exhibit their own Hina doll collection in some location every year, about March 3rd, “and eventually to have our own pavilion where they can be stored and exhibited as part of a Japanese cultural exhibit.”
“The Hina dolls on each tier of the exhibit have a special purpose in Japanese life. The emperor and empress sit at the top, court ladies on the second, musicians, then ministers, samurai, household items, and the bottom tier is method of transportation and transporting of goods. There is detail on each of these subjects and we could meet to discuss them in detail if you wish,” Hunter said.
The Hinamatsuri Dolls is open to the public and free, with food and beverages served. The exhibit is sponsored in part by the Art Partnership and the North Dakota Council on the Arts.
On March 3rd, Ann Braaten, Phd, gave a presentation telling the story of the dolls’ historic roll in American and Japanese culture. Dr. Braaten is curator of the Emily P. Reynolds Historic Costume Collection at NDSU.
Hunter left a comment for those who will be coming to the exhibit. The Garden Society appreciates your interest in our collection, and at some time, if you are interested, he can speak further and go into more detail about their proposed Japanese Garden.
YOU SHOULD KNOW
Hinamatsuri Japanese Doll Exhibit
March 2 - April 14
The Spirit Room, 111 Broadway N
July 18th 2018
July 18th 2018
July 18th 2018
July 11th 2018
July 11th 2018
by Brittney Goodman
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