Hello dear readers! How are you?
Today (3/3) is Hina Matsuri. This is a festival for girls, and it is celebrated by displaying traditional dolls and having a party at home.
I don’t have any dolls here myself, but I wanted to celebrate! So on Saturday I went to an appropriate exhibition, ‘Hina Dolls of the Mistui Family’.
This is the family that founded the famous Mitsukoshi department store, and the museum is located next to the historical Mitsukoshi building. It was quite a big exhibition and encompassed different types of dolls including the curious-looking ones shown here on the poster, which are meant to be floated down a river. Since photography was not allowed, I will include pictures from the flyer.
There were a lot of Emperor and Empress dolls, some a bit more simplistic and some very detailed and lifelike. It was very interesting seeing them from the back. Usually they are displayed on a tiered platform and we can only see the front. Looking at them from the back, you can almost imagine they are alive… In the middle of the picture you can see a procession of funny fat little men, and there were plently of these amusing sort of figures too.
There were a couple of examples of these type of dolls, though I am afraid I have forgotten the name. They are Showa era anyway, and so large as to be almost life-sized. They are very prettily and sensitively made and you could almost believe they were real children. Everything was lovely, but what I enjoyed most was looking at the little doll sized pieces of furniture, crockery etc. Somehow they’re even nicer to see than the dolls. In fact, in my own dolls house (which I’ll show you someday, maybe later this year when I make a trip back home) there are no dolls, only furniture, ornaments, food and so on. I really love arranging them and rearranging them!
And here is a Sapphira Doll! On this day I decided to try Old School Lolita. I bought this Meta headdress in 2010 because I recognised it as being from a very early series. However, this is the first time I’ve worn it since I’ve only just got items to wear with it. The white Moi-meme-Moitie set-up is the one that belonged to Alice Kobayashi and again it’s the first time I’ve made a coordinate with it. I love it so much! It has some boning in it, not enough to squeeze you in as you can see but enough to make you stand up straight which was good for museum-visiting. The blouse is also Meta and the necklace is a BPN one I got very cheaply from Closet Child. The bag is Baby and my shoes and tights are offbrand.
Somehow things came together nicely in this coordinate, even though the headdress, necklace and setup were all things bought on a whim at different times. I was surprised how much I liked the look of the headdress, and maybe I might start wearing them more often. Interestingly we tend to think of old school as something of an archaic curiousity in Western communities, but it seems alive and well here. Not that everyone still looks like it’s 2001, but I still see girls in solid blackxwhite or pinkxwhite plus headdress coordinates walking around who look like experienced lolitas, alongside the girls in prints and headbows. I don’t imagine we would see that at a non-Japanese meetup. It’s just my impression however so I wonder how correct it is….
Back to Hina Matsuri, one of the traditional foods for this festival is chirashizushi. The museum cafe was serving something very similar to chirashizushi, so I decided to eat there. It’s a very nice cafe, surprisingly reasonable and uncrowded, and very tasty. If you go, I recommend it! My lunch set even came with a small dessert of shirotama.
After lunch, I went to check out Mitsukoshi. This is the original one (or the most original one standing in Tokyo I suppose). It is very grand in appearance, built in the American Classical style and somewhat similar to Selfridges in London. The inside is grand and a little aged. There is a very impressive carving of the Spirit of Hospitality which is several stories high. There is also a lot of original architecture left and for some reason a Wurltizer pipe organ. It had an atmosphere which I was surprised to find in Tokyo, which is of a very ordinary and somewhat geriatric English country town department store (eg BHS). I admit I quite liked it! It was very restful.
Hina Dolls of the Mitsui Family is at the Mitsui Memorial Museum until the 6th of April. The entrance fee for adults is 1000yen, and the nearest station is Mitsukoshimae (Ginza line). It is closed on Mondays. Please check the museum site here:
Would you like to see this exhibition? What’s your view on old school lolita?
Thanks for reading and see you again soon,