Japan Society Invites Girls and Boys to Celebrate Annual Day of Children's Growth and Well-Being

For Immediate Release

Doll Festival (Hinamatsuri)

** Featuring Koto Music and Doll-making for Children **

Sunday, March 2, 2008 at 2 pm

New York, NY - Japan Society's Education Program introduces families to the annual Doll Festival (Hinamatsuri), Saturday, March 2, 2- 4:00 pm. Commemorating Doll Festival traditionally celebrated on Girls’ Day (March 3) in Japan, participants learn about festival origins and enjoy festival-related snacks (hina-arare), sakura-mochi (rice cakes wrapped in cherry leaf) and drinks. Springtime songs are performed on the koto (a traditional Japanese stringed instrument), including the song "Ureshii Hinamatsuri (Happy Hinamatsuri),” and children try their hands at playing koto. Ceremonial dolls (hina-ningyo) dressed in the traditional court costumes of ancient Japan are on display, and doll making is demonstrated so children can create their own hina dolls to take home. This event is recommended for children ages 3-10 and their accompanying adults. Boys and girls are welcome to participate!

About Hinamatsuri
Also known as "Girls' Day", Hinamatsuri is a time in Japan to wish for the health and future happiness of young girls. During Hinamatsuri, most homes with young girls display hina dolls, decorate them with peach blossoms and offer the dolls colorful, diamond-shaped rice cakes, white sake and other gifts. In the hinamatsuri practice, originally dolls were used as substitutes to protect young girls from misfortunes, which were washed away in the river with the perceived bad luck. That practice transformed into decorating dolls and spread throughout Japan in the Edo Period (1603-1868).

About Japan Society’s Education Program
Japan Society’s Education Program offers programming for teachers and students, including teacher seminars, educators’ study tours, curricula development, school partnerships, and activities for students and school groups. Programs for families introduce children to diverse aspects of Japanese culture through entertaining and educational events.

About Japan Society
Founded in 1907 by prominent New York City business people and philanthropists, Japan Society has evolved over 100 years into an internationally recognized nonprofit organization presenting a full range of programs within arts and culture, business, education, family, and public policy. Through over 100 events annually, the Society creates rich encounters and exchanges that offer opportunities to experience Japanese culture; foster sustained and open dialogue on issues important to the U.S., Japan, and East Asia; and improve access to information on Japan.

Japan Society celebrates the 100th Anniversary of its founding with Japan100: Celebrating a Century, an unprecedented array of high-profile programming in 2007-08. The celebration occurs throughout New York City and in Japan with further national and international exposure through traveling exhibitions, performing arts tours, symposia, fellowships, and exchanges. Visit for more information.

Tickets & Information
Doll Festival (Hinamatsuri) takes place Sunday, March 2, 2-4:00 pm. Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second Avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 and 7 subway at Grand Central or the E and V subway at Lexington Avenue). Tickets are $15 per family (up to five people)/$10 per family including at least one Japan Society member. Recommended for children ages 3-10. Advance registration is strongly encouraged. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 212-715-1258. For more information, visit or call 212-832-1155.

Education Programs are made possible by generous funding from The Freeman Foundation.
These programs are supported by Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Additional support is provided by The Norinchukin Foundation, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Dean R. Thacker, Lesley Nan Haberman, and Ms. Hiroko Onoyama.

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For further information, images and interview requests, please refer to:

Aya Akeura
Japan Society
T: (212) 715-1292
F: (212) 715-1262

Kuniko Shiobara
Japan Society
T: 212-715-1249
F: (212) 715-1262

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