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Matsuri Mess
last modified: Friday, January 16, 2009 (2:19:08 PM)
While I was in Hida, Japan, I purchased a small set of Lunar New Year animals dressed as Sarubobos. Sarubobo, or 'baby monkey', is the trinket that many people bring home from Japan and the Takayama region. Since I celebrate the Lunar New Year, I thought I'd put each of the animals into the 12 slotted "memory" frames, and hang it on my wall.

But I wanted something to go with it. The animals were cute, but, a small animal trinket in a big frame...well, it needed some ornaments to accompany it.

So, enter the Hina Matsuri mess.

Hina Matsuri, or Girls' Day, is celebrated in Japan on March 3. Most Japanese couples who have a daughter will purchase a Hina Matsuri set for their child. While the size of the pieces and the number of dolls featured in a Hina Matsuri set will vary(I've seen some that consist of 5 while the large ones have 15), they all feature accessories.

I thought that pairing the Hina accessories with the animals would be rather cute. After not finding much on US auction sites, I headed to YJ to purchase some Hina accessories.

Hina Matsuri sets can be expensive, and elaborate dolls generate elaborate fees. The large Hina Matsuri sets, depending on the quality, can easily reach into the thousands of dollars. Even the items that accompany the set can be rather pricey.

So I found an auction starting at 1000 yen, with poor, grainy pictures and the following description:

"This item was found as leftover stock in an now closed shop. All but the diamond cakes are included. Please refrain from bidding if you are expecting this item to be in a perfect state"

I wondered if the "Car driven by the little old lady..." adage applied in Japan. I figured, for the price, that these accessories must be the smaller ones made for smaller sized sets. And for 1000 yen and with 14 pieces, my little animals would be happily hanging on my wall with cute, small Japanese trinkets.

Or so I thought.

Today, the accessories arrived in a big box. Hoping that the item was just packaged really well, I opened it up to see that what I purchased were the larger accessories. Sadly though, they're a tad too large for the animals. But the detail on these items is absolutely incredible - the doors on the drawers all move, the lacquer and gold leaf inlaid work is absolutely breathtaking.

So, I'm off to take pictures of these items, and perhaps pair them with some acquired artwork...