In a release sent out yesterday, Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society (NPBGS) announced an interesting new cultural exchange element heading to Fargo. This fall, NPBGS will accept a collection of Hina Dolls from the Okayama Japan-America Cultural Exchange Society. The dolls will be on display at West Acres Mall initially, then travel to locations around the Fargo-Moorhead area before being permanently housed in the Garden Society’s Japanese-style pavilion, which is currently in development.
Hina dolls, according to the release, are part of a Japanese tradition dating back to the Edo Period (17th century):
Every year on March 3rd, Japan celebrates the Doll Festival (Japanese: Hina Matsuri). […] On this day every year, families set up a special step-altar on which to arrange their Emperor and Empress dolls, called “Hina.” They decorate this altar with boughs of peach blossoms and make offerings to the Hina dolls of freshly made rice cakes (mochi), either flavored with a wild herb or colored and cut into festive diamond shapes.
In addition to dolls, these altars display many beautiful and luxurious decorative accessories. Kyoto altars include miniature kitchens and hearths for cooking. Tokyo altars also have many chests, shelves and other furnishings to display with the dolls. This kind of lavish exhibit has been handed down from the Edo period, the name for Tokyo.
A ribbon cutting is planned for the week of September 6. Members of a delegation from the Okayama Japan-America Cultural Exchange Society will be in attendance. Sponsorship opportunities for the dolls are available; for more information, contact Jackie Williams at NPBGS: email@example.com.
Image via Wikipedia.