Girls’ Day 2007, Hilo

The Hawai’i Japanese Center had an open house today for Girls’ Day, and I brought my camera. I didn’t make my 5-year old sit through the boring speeches, but once they were over we all had fun wandering the exhibits (actually, when you do it with a 5-year old, you’re not “wandering” but “examining in great but sometimes random detail”) and eating mochi and brownies.

I was expecting the Japanese dolls, though the classic 1932 HinaMatsuri set was more charming than I expected.

The historical materials were a very nice touch — entirely in line with the mission of the HJC, but I wasn’t expecting to see an original contract on display.

There was also a “Friendship Doll” from the ’20s (found, I was told, in a mainland thrift shop) along with documents relating to the whole friendship doll movement (there’s even a Shibusawa Eiichi picture in there)


And, because there’s nothing like kitsch to warm the heart,


You can see the whole set of pictures here.


  1. I went to the hina matsuri in Kyoto for the first time yesterday. The dolls were very beautiful and a sense of Japanese tradition was very much present all throughout.
    I was really suprised by how much the dolls cost! There was a very small one, just one, not even the pair of husband and wife, and it was 10,000 yen (almost 100$).
    My host-family has a set by the entrance of the house and I have definitely gained a greater appreciation for them.

  2. Please tell me how I can get in touch with anyone in Hawaii regarding the doll you have picturesd and called a Friendsip Doll. I have been researching Friendship Dolls for sixteen years and did not know about this particular doll. I need to know if she is 81 cm. tall and is one of the original 58 dolls to the USA by Japan in 1927. Thank your for your assistance.

    Rosie Skiles, Friendship Doll Researcher

    PS there are 44 of the 58 original dolls found. 13 are missing and one was lost in hurricane.

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