The Empress of Hina

Daily Draw June 25th, 2008

Yesterday I was looking for paper crafts and found some folded Hina dolls of an Empress and Emperor to print. I did that and then got sidetracked by the Adventures of the Black Pig, so today I went back to the Hina dolls and picked a card from the Ukiyoe Tarot to go with them.


A perfect match for the dolls and it reminded me of a book my sister had in childhood. Funnily enough I was speaking to someone about childhood books recently and remembering them fondly.

One book I remember is The Children Came Running from 1960, that featured stories about different countries and cultures along with artwork originally printed on UNICEF cards. One of the most fascinating stories for me was the annual Japanese Doll Festival (Hina Matsuri) and the picture in the book of an altar with many beautiful Hina dolls and the little girl who proudly displayed them for this festival. I was browsing a few years ago and nearly bought a used copy of this book and didn’t, so today I resolved to bring it back into my life and found a clean, tight copy with a slightly ripped cover for $3 and bought it.

Most people think of the Empress as a mother figure, but I think of her as a ruler and one who cares for her subjects’ well-being. I thought she was telling me today to look after myself and reconnect to the things that molded me when young. Stories, literature, openness to world culture and learning, and a love of artwork came to me through that lovely book, and I want it back. I cannot wait to feel the old thrill and the stories ripple through my mind.


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