Hinamatsuri Dolls

Relationship: Im/migrant

In 2000 my family moved to America from Japan along with $11,000 worth of dolls. Although it may seem ridiculous, these dolls are valued as traditional, detailed, and lucky statues that are celebrated across Japan. These dolls are taken out of storage to be glorified and displayed on March third, Hinamatsuri, or Girl’s Day. Although these models are respected so much, it is crucial according to the tradition to put these dolls back right after Girl’s Day, otherwise it is considered bad luck. My object is a vibrant red staircase decorated with carefully crafted dolls that is additionally organized in the most cherished room of the house. Furthermore, at the top of the staircase the emperor and empress are beautifully arranged followed by servants and court members below them. Because my mother grew up in Japan, she could explain to me how this staircase is used to wish luck and health upon my family and house, especially the girls. After my mom moved to the United States, her mother passed the expensive dolls down to our family, and my mom will do the same as well to her daughter. This object is significant to me because it has been passed down in my family, and holds a relationship between my family in Japan and America. Because it is so easy to experience my American culture on Long Island, I can appreciate this connection I have to Japanese traditions more because visiting my family is so rare and difficult.

Year: 2000

– Stephanie N

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant