I more than just meant to blog yesterday, I was actually really looking forward to completing and publishing this particular post on that particular day. However, by the time I had a moment to, my mind laughed at my blogging ambitions and said GOODNIGHT DUDE, and that was that! So here I am, putting away our dolls whilst mentally still holding on to them.
Yesterday was hinamatsuri. Hinamatsuri is also known as girls day, dolls day and peach blossom festival in Japan. It is an ancient celebration that dates back over one thousand years, during which families pray for the health and happiness of their daughters. A bunch of symbolic and traditional foods are eaten and offered but the biggest attraction on this day are the displays of dolls across the country. These can range from a pairs of dolls sat side by side to opulently ornate multi tiered arrangements.
Personally, my mind floats away from the dolls to a particular vignette from Akira Kurosawa’s film, Dreams. In this scene, a young boy is lured by an apparition into a terraced garden where an arrangement of dolls come to life and scold him because his family cut down the trees in the peach orchard thwarting the blossoms symbolic of the celebration. Set during hinamatsuri, it is a viscously rapturous scene that has stuck with me ever since I saw the film.
Dreams is one of my favourite films. Visually sumptuous and stunning, it is an outing into the imagination of one of cinema’s greatest film directors – an unforgettable contemplative work of art.
Links for the curious
Here is the trailer for Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams (The entire film is available on iTunes).
Read more about the dolls and history of hinamatsuri