Last week I went to Ichihime shrine for the hina matsuri (doll festival). Besides the usual hinadan doll displays, there was a special event in a nearby community center: the setup of a life-size hinadan with real people instead of dolls.
The interesting part about this was the clothing of the two main people representing the court nobles, since both of them were dressed in clothing as it was worn 1000 years ago in the Heian era, notably the famed juni-hitoe (12 layer robe) for the lady. Dressing both took a whole hour, and I will write about in detail in a weekend post to come – of course I took pictures of each and every single layer and step in the process!
Included in the ticket price was a cup of green tea with an appropriate sweet for the day, a demonstration of games played at the Heian court (also worthy of a weekend post), and a special type of charm. It is called momokazashi mamori and it is made of two little branches of a peach tree, just about to blossom. It is the most elaborate omamori charm I have yet bought, and it does look really pretty.
I wonder what it is good for – other to ward off evil or bring luck like all the charms, and where the best place is to put it. Obviously it has a meaning that is somewhat related to spring, but in any case, I like it very much, pretty in pink…