Four Musicians – Ningyo (Dolls)

We are four charming musicians who delight in celebrating the annual Japanese Girl’s Day Festival by participating in the Hina Matsuri Doll Exhibit at The Maridon Museum. The festival starts March 3. The exhibit will continue until the first week in May, when the samurai dolls will come marching in for the “Boy’s Day Festival” exhibit.

Hina Matsuri is an occasion to pray for young girls’ growth and happiness. Most homes display dolls for this festival and dedicate peach blossoms to them. Girls celebrate by having parties with friends. Hina Matsuri is also called Momo no Sekku, meaning Peach Flower Festival. Hina is an ancient word for doll, and Matsuri means festival. Historically, the dolls were used as toys. Some evolved into family heirlooms, passed down for generations.

During this time many people participated in Nagashi-Bina, a doll-floating ceremony. Dolls made of straw or paper were sent down river on boats, symbolizing the carrying away one’s impurities and sins.

Doll exhibits may be as simple as pictures on paper or elaborately dressed figurines holding court. The Maridon exhibit consists of the emperor and empress with 14 attendants. Please visit the exhibit on the Maridon’s upper level in the Multi-Purpose Room.