This weekend, our daughter was visiting us from Yamanashi, with her daughter(our grand daughter, Ichino).
As a tradition here, we have Hinamatsuri, Girls' Day Festival in March. For the first Hinaatsuri, usually the mother's side prepare the Hina dolls for the granddaughter. Ichino' was born on February 24th, last year and her first Hinamatsuri was supposed to be last March, but she was so small, so Ichino's parents decided to celebrate her Hinamatsuri next March.
We are still `entry level' grandparents, and depending on our research, it seems it is quite common for mother's parents to prepare the dolls and bring them to the parents. My friend said they gave the money to the parents and let them choose what they like.
Ichino's father and his family said they prefer not the big dolls set and they say Shoko can decide as the mother. Masanori, Ichino's faterh has two sisters, and they have a big set (I assume what they have must be like these set:http://www.yoshitoku.co.jp/products/list.php?category_id=104)
The traditional dolls are nice but we remember seeing dolls by Lladro from Spain by the big ad from newspaper before, so we decided to go to see the dolls at one of the department store with Shoko and Ichino.
Liadro is a Spanish brand but why they are making Japanese traditional dolls?
We heard the President of Liadro.Japan has lived in Japan for 20 years- he learned Japanese tradition, culture and market, and focussed attention on the Hina dolls and Gogatsu (Musha) dolls.
Those dolls are meaningful but take a lot of space both for disply and also to store them, so Liadro decided to make smaller and valuable(they make certain numbers only)dolls. Actually that is what Liadro is good at! Isn't that a great idea?
Their philosophy has been accepted and actually their hinadolls are very popular now.
We also heard they are doing great in other countries also, such as India, African countries and also middle east countries too.
These dolls in the photos are the full set. The dolls themselves(without the lanterns and other accessories) cost more than 20manen(approx two hundred thousand US dollars ), the full set cost more than 5 hundred thousand US dollars!.
They have other version- the face of dolls are more Kawaii, not like ideal noble face but more like the face looks more friendly and cute. We have not have decided and left the store but we could understand why Liadro dolls are loved so much here and chosen to celebrate Hina matsuri for granddaughters. They have really captured our hearts.
We decided to research more and was going home-and on the same floor, they had this event of photo shooting of babies and kids:
Many parents( and grandparents) were in line. This is really a great strategy, we(the beginner grand parents) had to surrender and went in line with Ichino.