HINA MATSURI -- "GIRLS DAY" CELEBRATION AND DECORATIONS in OLD JAPAN 雛人形
Although I do have others, this is one of the best Meiji-era close-content images of the Japanese Doll Festival decorations I have seen during my old-photo-collecting days.
".......The Japanese Doll Festival, or Girls' Day, is held on March 3, the third day of the third month. Platforms with a red hi-mōsen are used to display a set of ornamental dolls (雛人形, hina-ningyō) representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period......."
The once crisp features of this old hand-colored albumen photo have deteriorated over time. This particular print came out of an old album found in a damp basement in the USA. However, the value of the historic content over-rides these problems, and makes the photo worth posting for your Creative Commons use....or just plain Looky-Loo interest in old doll culture. If you skipped over the Wikipedia link above, you might want to go back and check it out.
Meiji-era photographer T. ENAMI dragged this nice collection of Dolls and Toys into his studio, all just to get this one shot for posterity. The maple-leaf patterned sliding doors are one of many classic Enami background studio props from the 1890s.
Now, if only I can find another one of these in better condition...(saw a really nice one on eBay, but wasn't willing to pay the price!) ;-)
For more on Enami's life and times, see : www.t-enami.org/
For a large collection of his old Japanese photography see : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/collections/7215761388...
NOTE : Far from being a thing of the past, this observance is alive and well today, and photographers cannot resist it : images.google.com/images?q=hinamatsuri&oe=utf-8&r...