What a wonderful weekend we had! I’ve never really appreciated the Doll Festival before. I’m not sure why. I’ve decided though- that I would sincerely like to try and and learn about other cultural aspects of Japan and when an opportunity opened up to celebrate Hinamatsuri I was thrilled.
My neighbor-Mrs. A invited me to go with her last Friday to see the Hina dolls that were being displayed at a historical home in our little town. I had NO idea of the treasure that lay waiting for me to discover it.
Little did I know that I had once walked right up to the end of the driveway of this wonderful place.
The event was being held at the Saijikan historical home, once owned by Santaro Hori who was one of the “big five mine kings” in Chikuho (our general area).
He was rich-really rich.
We pulled into the parking lot and I already knew, being the lover of historical homes that I am, it was going to be a wonderful adventure.
The residence and large storage facility were built in 1898. The home had been restored but, the storage facility is pretty much as it was with only some minor repairs having been done.
The photo below shows a very small portion of the home which is- enormous for a Japanese home. My husband said the original owner was probably a billionaire in his day.
First-let’s step inside the storage facility and take a look at the handicrafts that were displayed.
Mrs. A and I were met by a cheerful group of women who were all patchwork artists.
I am so in love with Japanese patchwork. I think I could drift for hours through display after display and never get tired. I just started learning how to sew and I hope someday I’ll be able to make something as beautiful as the items that were displayed.
Everything was just so cute!
There were patchwork quilts, wall hangings, Hina dolls and many Hagoita (羽子板 ｢はごいた｣). Hagoita are rectangular wooden paddles usually used to play a game called Hanetsuki (羽根突き, 羽子突き) similar to badminton.
Many hagoita are used for more ornamental purposes. Sometimes they are painted with lacquer and auspicious symbols or decorated with intricate patchwork as in the photos below.
I was thankful nothing was for sale. I would have left a poor but happy woman.
My favorite was this gold board decorated with rabbits in various scenes.
I also loved this small patchwork wall hanging. The center piece is old kimono material. Actually there are several scraps of kimono material in this piece.
We had fun chatting with the women and examining all the beautiful handiwork.
After viewing every item at least three times we made our way to the house….
to be continued………