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Kokin Bina (Traditional Hina dolls)

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

7th year of the Ansei era (1860)


Hibiya Kenjirō (日比谷健次郎) (1836–1886) possibly ordered these Kokin Bina (古今雛) dolls for Shin, his elder daughter, for her first sekku (節句) (seasonal festival). The Kokin Bina dolls were invented during the end of the Edo period (1603–1868).

 These Kokin Bina dolls are made realistic, relatively large for its standard, and are dressed in traditional garments of the aristocratic society. All objects including the musical instruments are precisely crafted and are expressive including the fingertips of the individuals. In addition, these dolls have been well-preserved in the Hibiya Family (日比谷家) and are still in excellent condition despite their old age.

 These dolls have been entrusted to the Tōkyō National Museum and were publicly exhibited from February 2019 to March 2020.

 Along with the Kokin Bina dolls, the Hibiya Family owns Hinazu (雛図) (drawings of Hina dolls), which were popular during the end of the Edo period. Both Kokin Bina and Hinazu used to be displayed to visitors during the Hinamatsuri (雛祭り) (Hina Dolls Festival) every year.

 * While these dolls have been displayed in this particular style at the Hibiya House in recent years, they should be traditionally displayed on a five-tiered set in a tatami room.

All Japanese names in this translation follow the Japanese order: surname-name, and all Japanese names and words follow the Hepburn romanization method.

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