Tag Archives: japanese

Hinamatsuri: Girls’ Day

hinamatsuri cookies
On March 3rd, girls in Japan celebrate Hinamatsuri, or festival of dolls, also known simply as Girls’ Day.

It’s celebrated by displaying special dolls of the Heian court. My mom gave me a lovely Empress and Emperor, and I put them out every Girls Day (um, except last year when I completely forgot!). My daughter loves to play with the tiny accessories, especially the sword. Me too.

Japanese treats are usually eaten on this day, with themes of pink and sakura (cherry blossom). I decided to make sugar cookies using this recipe from Martha Stewart. I found a cherry blossom cookie cutter from Daiso, a Japanese dollar-store that’s in town, and used it to make the flower shapes.

I didn’t have any pink sprinkles on hand, so I made some. It’s pretty simple.

And not to worry, Boys’ Day is still coming up on May 5th. It’s celebrated by flying koi-shaped kites. Who knows, maybe I’ll even have a kite to fly that day!

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Bira Bira Kanzashi

I’m extremely fortunate with all the great jewelry and accessories I’ve inherited from relatives. I was the only granddaughter in my family, so my grandmother passed on most of her jewelry to me. And my awesome aunt gave me her collection of kanzashi, traditional Japanese hair ornaments often worn by Geisha and Maiko (geisha apprentices). I hope to eventually photograph all of these treasures. Here is one of them, the flashiest of them all, the bira bira kanzashi.

It has colorful rhinestones set in 3 metal fans mounted on tightly coiled springs. They sway with your movements, catching the light on the faceted crystals.


Dangling below are the metal “bira” strips, which make an ever-so-gentle clinking sound when you walk.

This would be perfect to wear to a wedding or some other fabulous event. Maybe it’s time to grow out my hair again.

Want to get your own? There are lovely kanzashi hair ornaments created and sold on Etsy. I really like this fabric flower one; it would be so lovely to wear for Valentine’s Day!

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