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Girls’ Day dolls with a side of quirky

Every March 3rd, families with daughters display a set of Girls’ Day dolls that represent the Imperial court at its Heian Era finest…

Girls' Day doll set

…but these days, you don’t have to be a nobleman or a shrine maiden to ascend the vermilion steps!

Girls' Day doll set with Pokemon figures
The Imperial Pokemon court
Girls' Day doll set with One Piece figures
One Piece characters go royal or go home
Girls' Day doll set with Anpanman figures
Emperor Anpanman and Empress Melonpan presiding

I saw all these sets in the town of Katsuura, which is famous for displaying 40,000 dolls all over town for Girls’ Day, but the set below is my favorite. Katsuura is a fishing town, so I adored this traditional set that’s been modified to give a nod to the local industry.

Girls' Day doll set with fishing theme
I don’t know how they got all those perfectly scaled fish and crabs, but somebody is a master modelmaker!
Girls' Day doll set with fishing theme
I’m especially fond of this group, which doesn’t leave out the guy reeling one in for his own supper, or the intrepid spear fisher
Girls' Day doll set with fishing theme
And I also love these hardworking nobles, hauling in a fine catch. Don’t you love how they perfectly positioned the blue marbles, like Japanese glass fishing floats?
Girls' Day doll set made from shells
I even love this wacky emperor and empress made of shells
Girls' Day doll set made from toilet paper rolls
Also had to admire the ones made by local schoolkids, out of toilet paper rolls…
Girls' Day doll set made from paper cups
…and paper cups!
Girls' Day doll set with Katsuura town mascot as heads
And the Katsuura town mascot (a goggle-eyed tuna BECAUSE JAPAN) making an appropriate holiday appearance
Girls' Day doll set with Moomin figures
…as do the Moomin family
Girls' Day dolls with Anpanman and Melonpan
…and stuffie versions of Anpanman and Melonpan improvised from dry goods at the local hardware store

Jonelle Patrick is the author of five novels set in Japan

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The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon

For three hundred years, a missing tea bowl passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, altering the lives of all who possess it…read more

“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly newsletter Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

4 thoughts on “Girls’ Day dolls with a side of quirky Leave a comment

  1. Girls Day was widely celebrated in HI several years ago. Now that Japanese immigrants are into 5th and 6th generation American born, not so much!

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