Sunday, March 11, 2007


It's not that I don't want to let this doll thing go...or maybe it is. Maybe I'm just being terribly lazy because I only had a few hours sleep. Or possibly I just want to bother Jean. He he he.

Yesterday I spent ten hours with a group of interpreters driving (and walking, lots of walking) around the city. It was a pretty amazing day. I met a famous comedian (well, kind of, he just went screaming past me and I took a picture of his back). I got to go into a shrine -- a section that normal people are never allowed to enter. I saw a wall covered in 800-year old blood and viewed katanas that were actually used to behead people (!!). Not only that but I climbed down 1,159 stone steps and ate freshly picked strawberries.

At some point during the day we visited an exhibition of ancient hina dolls. So I just thought I'd post some pics. They're pretty rotten quality. Unfortunately.

It was funny. When everyone saw the above and below dolls they began to whisper behind their hands about how creepy they were. They actually look sweeter in the photos.

This guy was really old. Yea, I didn't take note of the date.

Here is one of the court musicians. I liked his face.

And these guys too had great expressions.

Okay, just an interesting aside. In Japanese you have several different ways of saying numbers. The number one can be "ichi" or "hitotsu" or even "wan" (one). Because of this it is fairly easy to make words and sentences out of a series of numbers. For example, there's a famous hair restoring product and the last six digits of the phone number are 783-640. Which if you change to sounds becomes "nayami muyo" or "you don't have to worry about it." A famous English school's phone number ends in 32-4929 which can be read (and easily remembered) as "mi ni yoku tsuku", "you'll remember it well" or "you'll learn it well".

So, the ha-ha-ha thing about those 1,159 steps is that you have to climb those in order to pray at the temple. If you change those numbers into sounds again it becomes "ichi ichi gokurosan" or kind of "Thanks for making that long trek!"


jean said...

Oh man, not dolls again!

When my 95 year-old aunt was in a nursing home, my mother found a porcelain doll tucked away in a trunk that my aunt had obviously had as a child. She had it lovingly (and expensively!) restored for my aunt as a surprise present, a reminder of her childhood and all that. After it was done she brought it to my aunt, not letting on about all the effort she had gone to. Anyway as she went to go my aunt tried to give it back to her. 'Oh no, auntie, that's for you - to keep,' my mother said. 'What on earth would I want with that??' my aunt replied. The story has both soured me on antique, porcelain dolls and also on doing good deeds because you think someone else will really appreciate it.

Bk30 said...

The dolls are awesome,and yet I am more intrigued by the 800 year old blood. That's me wanting the story behind it. Which is why I love history..yeah, I really am that strange.

creepy as those dolls maybe the attention to detail on them is amazing. If those picures are poor quality,seeing them in person must have been breath taking..or was that just a horror story I read once?

Kappa no He said...

Hey girls!

Jean: That is a sad story. Your poor mom. So...what did she do with the doll? Um, don't say hid it somewhere. Those things can get testy you know.

BK: I'll have to put up a picture of the blood wood and the story as I remember it. You know, I never liked history much until recently. I can see an addiction pending...