Japanese parents cherish their pre-teen daughters and hail their health and happiness with displays of small dolls – hina – every March 3. Ornamental only and not for play, they represent the enthroned Emperor and Empress and their attendants, garbed in the sumptuous court robes of 1,000 years ago.
These elaborate miniatures are the hallmark of Hinamatsuri, the Girl’s Day Festival. Most often arrayed on multi-tiered stands draped in red cloth, they are many times family heirlooms.
As part of the festival, girls hold parties with friends and enjoy traditional foods such as eaten by Japan’s ancient rulers and nobles. Superstition says the dolls must be stored the day after the celebration: leaving them too long on show may result in a girl’s eventual marriage being delayed. Doll displays usually end after a girl turns 10; a family will then stow away its set of hina treasure-like, awaiting the day when it can be passed down to a little girl grown into a woman with daughters of her own to honor.
Our doll set is a vintage one, more than a century old. Its Emperor and Empress have gazed regally upon multiple generations of young girls. You can gaze back, in admiration of their meticulously detailed costumes and their many retainers, on view in all their finery from February 15 to March 12.
The shakuhachi – Japan’s traditional bamboo flute – lends an especially haunting note to the melodies played on it, and even more so after dark when a bright moon gleams in the sky.
Paul Amiel, music director of Tucson’s Rogue Theater, has long been an avid collector and player of ethnic musical instruments, including the shakuhachi. Celebrate spring’s first night by gathering with him beside Yume’s koi pond at 6:30 pm on March 21, and hear him perform Japanese folk melodies in kimono and by the glow of the lingering full moon of the evening before.
To guarantee your space at this limited-seating special event, advance payment of a non-refundable admission fee of $16 is required. Please pay in person at our offices or by mail to Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson, 2130 North Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712. If you must later cancel your reservation, notify us as soon as possible, so that we may accommodate others who wish to attend.
Please park for the concert either in the lot behind our main gate on North Alvernon Way, or on East Justin Lane, one half block south of Yume, being careful not to block our neighbors’ driveways. Note that non-resident curbside parking is NOT permitted on East Hampton Place, on the north side of the Gardens.