Monday, March 4, 2013

Hina Matsuri


The next day after Shujo Onie we set out to explore off the beaten track in the area south of Usa and Nakatsu. As usual with such explorations we were not disappointed and found several surprising and interesting things:- the great Prefectural History Museum near Usa Hachimangu, and a tunnel with statues depicting Heaven and Hell in Ajimu, but the best was yet to come....


We headed over the mountains along a narrow and winding mountain road towards the Yabakei Gorge. As we dropped down to the valley floor in the east fork of the gorge we noticed a temple with banners flying so stopped in to see...... It was an exhibition of dolls on display for the next few weeks leading up to Hina matsuri. There were dolls scattered about the grounds in fronnt of the temple and lined up on the steps of the main hall. A gentleman invited us in to see more on display inside....


But first we were sat down and given some tea and snacks..... pickles, jelly, and amazake, the non-alcoholic, as was the entrance to the exhibition.


Afterwards we looked around at the displays of about 1,000 dolls of various kinds. For more information on the dolls of Hina matsuri check this post.


My favorite part was the garden behind the temple which had a dozen or so dolls placed around it....



  1. cool place! but food looks a bit strange ;-) in PL that would be cookies or chocolates, or maybe bon-bons.

  2. I found your blog randomly, following links about Iwami Kagura. I live in Taketa in Oita and kagura is a big deal here too. I teach English and at least one of my schools interrupts its sports day to do kagura. All the shrines bigger than a box have kagura-den here too. Anyway, I was wondering if you know of any kinds of Omoto (or other shamanistic) kagura dances in Japan other than in Shimane. Thanks and I hope someday to buy one of your masks.

    1. Hi Adam... thanks for your comment. I was down your way (Bungoono) a few weeks ago. saw some kagura in Nakatsu last November too. According to Irit Averbuch who wrote a book about yamabushi kagura there is some in Tohoku but the "possession" is acted. In the mountains of northern Hiroshima is Hiba Kojin kagura, very close to Iwami and closely related. It is believed to be authentic though it only takes place every 33 year!!

  3. Wow, thanks for the information. I'll be sure and check in to the blog regularly.