March 2, 2014 Juju Kurihara Culture, Entertainment, festivals, Music, Vocabulary Tags: 1 Comment

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I´m not good at remembering people´s birthday, even my good friends´ birthday. In general the date doesn´t stick to me and I guess that´s why I´m not a history teacher. Once I rang my friend for her birthday. She thanked me for calling and then said to me that her birthday was a month later. Hmm, OK.

There is an exception, as most of the things. I have a friend, relatively a new friend but I don´t forget his birthday. His birthday is the 3rd of March. It´s Hinamatsuri (ひな祭り) in Japan. In other name, "Girls´ Day". Despite of his size of nearly 2m of height and over 100kg of weight, he is a sensitive, gossip lover. He takes more time for grooming before going out than me. I´m just slow but not because of primping up. Later I decided his behaviour comes from his birth date. It´s totally my own opinion but the good thing is, I don´t forget his birthday.



15117_1466739480205128_1679202481_nThis day, a family who has a daughter decorates Hina-Ningyo (ひな人形) at home. They are two dolls, Odairi sama (お内裏様), the Emperor and Ohina sama (おひな様), the Empress. Depends on the family, the lines of dolls get longer but the main set is these two. (See also The origin of Hinamatsuri)

Often people arrange some Momo no hana (桃の花/ plum flower), which is the season now. Because of this, Hinamatsuri is also called Momo no Sekku (桃の節句) as in the season of plum flower. 


While Kodomo no Hi (Boys´ Day) is a national bank holiday, Hinamatsuri isn´t. But the grandparents and the parents are happy to celebrate this day for their granddaughter/daughter and simply wish her healthy growth. Since a few weeks ago, I was seeing many food recipes for the Girls´ Day. They are just so pretty.







Sushi style potate sald

cake sushi






Chirashi-zushi cake







Clam and mochi soup




I´ve heard that Japanese mothers make super artistic Obento for their children. And these aren´t made by any professional chefs but mothers. I can just say wow. I wish my mum could make me something like this. 

This is also chirashi-zushi cake. 

When I was little, I didn´t have these. I would have sushi or fried chicken, which I enjoyed. No no, I´m not jealous but respect the effort of the mothers. 




hinamatsuri a


By the way, it´s believed that Hinamatsuri decoration have to be removed next day otherwise, the daughter will miss her chance of marriage. I must say that it´s a pure myth. I know my father is a superstitious and every year he made sure the decoration was gone first in the morning of the next day! I appreciate his consideration though…



"うれしいひなまつり" (Ureshii Hinamatsuri), Happy Hinamatsuri is the typical song you hear during this period. Enjoy!  

(1) あかりをつけましょ ぼんぼりに
   お花をあげましょ 桃の花
   五人ばやしの 笛太鼓
   今日はたのしい ひな祭り


(2) お内裏様(ダイリサマ)と おひな様

      二人ならんで すまし顔

   お嫁にいらした ねえさまに

   よく似た官女の 白い顔


(3) 金のびょうぶに うつる灯を
   かすかにゆする 春の風
   赤いお顔の 右大臣


(4) 着物をきかえて 帯しめて
   今日はわたしも はれ姿
   春のやよいの このよき日
   なによりうれしい ひな祭り

(1) Akari wo tsukemasho bonbori ni

Ohana wo agemasho momo no hana

Gonin bayashi no fue taiko

Kyou wa tanoshii Hinamatsuri


(2) Odairisama to Ohinasama

Futari narande sumashi gao

Oyome ni irashita neesama ni

Yokunita kanjo no shiroi kao



(3) Kin no byooubu ni utsuru hi wo

Kasuka ni yusuru haru no kaze

Sukoshi sirozake mesaretaka

Akai okao no udaijin



(4) Kimonowo kikaete Obi shimete

Kyou wa watashi mo haresugata

Haru no yayoi no kono yokihi

Naniyori ureshii Hinamatsuri

(1)Let´s light up the lamp,

let´s decorate the peach flower,

Five court musician play flutes and drums

It´s a fun day, Hinamatsuri


(2) The emperor and the empress,

sit next to each other with a cool face.

Court lady´s white face resembles a lot 

my big sister who got married and left home.


(3) The light reflects on the golden folding screen,

is moving slightly with the spring breeze.

Because of the white sake he had,

the junior Minister´s face is red.


(4) Change the kimono and tie the Obi belt, 

today I too dress up.

This spring of March, a good day,

the happiest day, Hinamatsuri.




More annual festivals


Kodomo no Hi(Boys´ Day)



Boys´ day


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