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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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CUSTOM

CUSTOM IN JAPAN TO CELEBRATE "GIRLS' DAY" OR DOLL FESTIVAL ON
MARCH 3. THE HISTORY OF THIS CUSTOM EMBRACES JAPANESE FOLKLORE,
HISTORY, CUSTOM, ETC. IT STEMS FROM THE BEGINNINGS OF SHINTOISM AT
WHICH TIME A SINFUL PERSON SOUGHT OUT PURIFICATION BY BATHING IN A
STREAM. AS TIME PASSED, HOWEVER, THE WEALTHY AND LAZY BEGAN TO
SEND SUBSTITUTES. LATER STILL, INANIMATE OBJECTS (RELATED TO HUMAN
LIFE) WERE USED AND FINALLY, TWO PAPER DOLLS, SYMBOLIZING THE MALE
AND FEMALE MEMBERS OF AN ENTIRE FAMILY, WERE ADOPTED UNIVERSALLY AS
THE SYMBOL OF PURIFICATION. THEY ARE KNOWN AS "KAMIBINA" AND ARE
ALWAYS DISPLAYED WITH THE TRADITIONAL DOLLS SET EVERY JAPANESE
GIRL OWNS, AND WHICH SHE ALWAYS TAKES WITH HER WHEN SHE MARRIES.
MARCH 3 WAS CHOSEN BECAUSE IT SYMBOLIZED THE TRANSITION FROM
WINTER'S DARKNESS OF SIN INTO THE LIGHT AND HOPE OF SPRING.
THE DOLLS REPRESENT THE IMPERIAL COURT: EMPEROR AND EMPRESS,
COURT LADIES, MUSICIANS, VARIOUS ATTENDANTS, AND MINIATURE
FURNITURE AND HOUSEHOLD IMPLEMENTS. THEY ARE ARRANGED IN
HIERARCHICAL ORDER, ON 5 SHELVES COVERED WITH RED (FESTIVAL
COLOR) CLOTH. FOOD OFFERINGS ARE PLACED ON THE LOWEST SHELF.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT CELEBRATED THE ABOVE WHILE GROWING UP IN JAPAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 3
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 F642.9

Date learned: 08-01-1964

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THE CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL

IN JAPAN ON MARCH 3RD PROPERLY CALLED HINA MATSURI OR MOMO-NO-TO-
SIKKEN WHICH LITERALLY MEANS THE FEAST OF THE PEACH BLOSSOMS, THERE
IS A FESTIVAL HELD ESPECIALLY FOR GIRLS.
EACH HOME CONSTRUCTS AN ALTAR. THE ALTAR IS ARRANGED IN TIERS
AND COVERED WITH RED CLOTH. TINY FIGURES OF THE EMPEROR AND EMPRESS
ARE PUT ON THE ALTAR. THE REST OF THE HOUSE IS DECORATED WITH
ORANGE BLOSSOMS. EVERYONE EATS FESTIVE DISHES AND LOTS OF
SWEETS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CAMPUS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 3
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 F642.9

Date learned: 11-11-1969

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MARCH THIRD IS GIRLS' DAY, FREE TO BE APPROACHED. MAY FIFTH IS BOYS'
DAY (FREE TO BE APPROACHED.)

Submitter comment: SIMILAR TO OUR MOTHER,S DAY AND FATHER,S DAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 3
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May 5
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Signs of availability
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Spring

Date learned: 11-27-1971

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MARCH 3 IS GIRLS DAY (FREE TO BE APPROACHED).
MAY 5 IS BOYS DAY (FREE TO BE APPROACHED).

Submitter comment: SIMILAR TO OUR MOTHERS' DAY AND FATHERS' DAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; JAPAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 3
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May 5

Date learned: 11-27-1971

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showing 5 items

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