Art / Openings Outside Tokyo

TOKYO

'Hina Matsuri and Japanese Dolls'

KYOTO NATIONAL MUSEUM

by Daisuke Kikuchi

Staff Writer

Feb. 21-April 7

To celebrate the upcoming Hinamatsuri (Girls Day Festival) on March 3, the Kyoto National Museum is holding an exhibition of historical Hinamatsuri dolls, which are traditionally given to newborn girls.

Due to the construction of the museum’s new wing, it’s been six years since this once-annual exhibition has been held. Displaying such dolls, which are dressed in kimono and represent an imperial family, has been a popular custom since the beginning of Edo Period (1603-1868), though its origins date back to the Heian Period (794-1185). It was believed that the dolls would prevent children in the family from suffering sickness and having accidents.

This exhibition features various dolls from different eras, revealing differences in style. This year’s highlights include a new donation of a set of dolls that were commissioned for a baby girl in 1844.

Kyoto National Museum; 527 Chaya-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto. Shichijo Stn. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. ¥520. Closed Mon. 075-525-2473; www.kyohaku.go.jp