Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.636


The music might sound a bit melancholic but the song is to celebrate Dolls's Festival.

Here is the lyrics:

akari o tsukemasho bonbotin

ohana o agemasyo momonohana

goninbayashi no fuetaiko

kyo wa tanoshii hinamatsuri

(Let's light the lantern on the tiered stand.

Let's place the peach blossoms on the tiered stand.

The joyful sound of flute and drums by five musicians on the stand.

It is a happy doll's day.)



March 3rd is Hinamatsuri (Doll's festival) to celebrate the growth of girls.

Families with girls display Hina dolls- I had hina dolls just like the ones in the video on top. Those types of Hina dolls (with five or seven steps) were the popular type. I was a hatsumago(first grandchild) of my father's family, and was given the doll set from my grandparents. I remember displaying dolls and putting them away with my mother. We wrapped the dolls' face carefuly with soft paper to protect- it was quite a lot of work to put all of them away. 

People still celebrate Hinamatsuri but there are vaious hina dolls for example, dolls with a music box underneath, dolls with anime characters, dolls with  animal faces and so on.


The another traditional type of Hina dolls is Kimekomi ningyo. Here is a page of Kimekomi ningyo atelier.





In the following page, they are showing how to make Kimekomi ningyo.

(please click the following line)

Making original body:

1. Make original shape with clay to make a mold.

2. Put Toso (the dough, the mixture of paulownia wood powder and natural glue paste) to the mold.

3.After drying, smooth the surface carefully.

4.Put gofun (a kind of pigment) on the surface and apply line engraving.


Dress the doll with Kimekomi technique:

1.Using narrow knife, placing the kimono fabric and tuck the end to the body.

2.The body is rather soft, so place the fabric carefully not to hurt the body.

3. Finish the `tucking' and make sure there is no stains by glue.


Making the head:

1. Put artificial eyes-this is done by specialist with clever hands.

2. Put the hair- they are black silk thread.

3. For those careful work, binded straw stand is used.


Kimekomi technique has been started in mid Edo period and originally from people working for Kamigamo shrine in Kyoto.  This technique has been moved to Tokyo and now it is called Edo(Tokyo) kimekomi ningyo and known as traditional products.

The characteristics of Kimekomi dolls is their rather round face and body. It is really KAWAII dolls!


There are some obi and kimono with Hina dolls motif too! Please check here:


There are more too!





Those are the cute kimono for girls to wear!







Used-to-be young girls do Joshikai(girls' party) to celebrate doll's festival now. Some restaurants have `Hinamatsuri ' lunch menu and have some special service too.

It is a joyful day for girls-we hope you enjoy this newsletter!