The Doll Festival

YOU_2486Last week was Hina Matsuri, aka Girl’s Day. The major department stores all had huge displays featuring dolls representing Heian Period court life and freshly cut branches of plum blossoms. YOU_1575 YOU_1521 YOU_1533 YOU_1558 YOU_1507

My babies have graduated. I’m never really sad, which is odd because I’m sentimental.


I’ve been cooking constantly. Along with the camera I also purchased a Sous Vide. So far I’ve made excellent custards, soups, and steaks with it. I’m using it to candy fruit at the moment.  YOU_2862 chickenI’m still not sure what I’m doing with the camera. I’m getting used to lighting, trying to get a feel for how aperture, ISO, and shutter speed come together.

White Balance? (sigh)

YOU_0813I’ve had a week to think about what I’ve been doing and set up some short term goals, so you’ll see more of me this week. 🙂

Have a great week everyone!

26 Comments on “The Doll Festival

      • Busy, I’ve been job hunting and living with the bf, for the first time steadily, for like a year. Before this I never had to cook every day for more than a month, which is not always fun, but at least now I have more practiced hands.


      • Living — oooooooooooo. 😉

        Well, if you have no time, be sure to check out my new apple pie recipe.


    • Everyday from what I gather. 😉

      It’s also an ancient tradition here. When a girl is born the family either bequeaths or buys a doll. When the family is large (as in olden times) or wealthy they’ll purchase the full set (12 – 30) and set them up on something like stairs indicating the rank of the people in Heiyan Court, the Emperor and his wife on top.

      Why? A kind of wish or offering to be able to marry off the girls. I speculate that in pre-modern Japan the display was an acceptable way to show the wealth, taste, propriety of the family (in May there’s Boy’s Day, similar but done with samurai armor).

      There are other traditions that fall in line with this one. When a girl is born a specific tree is planted. That tree is used to make the dowery box when the girl comes of age. I’ve known a couple of families who have the means to follow the tradition, though they used it to make a chest of drawers for their daughter rather than a dowery box.


  1. Oh my, you are becoming an amazing photographer as well as creating delicious dishes! I think I missed it, but what is that delectable looking thing on your header picture??


    • Thanks!

      That’s from Play With Your Food! Poultry.

      It was delicious, in line with one of the best things I’ve ever made.


  2. Hooray! – you’re back! Here’s an affectionate hug for you from your ancient Downunder fan, Steven! ((( )))
    Those dolls are not beautiful. I feel obliged to make that comment. [grin]


    • (lol) What they lack in aesthetic appeal they make up for in price: Those dolls are between 10 – 30 thousand USD.

      So, how’s my favorite blogger doing?. I haven’t gotten to my (blog) reading list yet.


      • [GASP! M.R. falls back in a dead faint]
        Well then, tell me honestly … do YOU think they look nice?
        I’ve changed my theme AGAIN. This is the … erhmm … approx. 6th time. But this time I’m going back to the one I paid disgusting amounts of money for (Aussies pay about twice what Yanks pay for the same thing! – go figure …) but completely STUFFED in the CSS department. After a couple of months it managed to forget what I did to it and forgave me. This is It. The One. M.R.’s Theme. 😀
        You won’t get to the reading list for yonks, me old china … I mean, you haven’t finished with learning the camera yet, and then there’s all those mouthwatering recipes we’re all hanging out for.
        Get busy, willya? 😀


      • Have you any idea how harrowing it is to hold a new camera with flour all over your hands? (shudders)

        So the new theme is the old theme?

        I think I liked the softer colors on your previous one, but ultimately it’s content and widgets and you’ve done very well with both — I really like the widgets you have in the footer.

        So you paid for your theme?

        I’m waiting for this last batch of oranges to candy so I can dip them in chocolate in time for Pi Day, which happens to be White Day and a good time for a long post. 😉

        Oh, and I do like the dolls. I don’t want them in my house, but they’re part of spring. I’ll have to dig out some older iPhone photos to show you what I mean.


      • Hokay. I can wait. Nowhere else to go.
        Yup, I paid for the bugger – at least twice as much as an American would pay, I’m told. If someone can explain that to me such as to make me accept it …
        Chocolate candied oranges are the only time I like dark chocolate. Stringer adored it, hated the lighter stuff.
        I’m beginning to dislike all the bloody images I stuff into my posts. I’ve been doing it because it’s meant to be THE THING to do; but I rather think I might go far more textual in future. It’s not as if I have a rationale such as yours, Steven, where we’d all scream loudly without your pic.s … which will shortly be even more irresistible …
        And I simply don’t believe you would ever in a billion years touch your camera when there was flour on your hands! What, you??? – the asethete? NEVER!


      • Alas, there’s flour in the groves — which I thought a tripod would fix. Now there’s flour on the buttons. 😉

        You know, I really, very much disliked taking photos. I mentioned I had a film camera. It distanced me from events. Excluded me. Instead of being caught up in the moment I was apart from it. I’m still not sure what I think of that but for more than a decade I didn’t take pics for that reason.

        I think blogging is a synthesis between reading, pictures, design. Unlike writing a book or an article, I concede that photos and layout with the writing tell the stories we’ve been publishing. It’s no longer just the text. I feel your pain with images, but maybe you can rework them to your liking?

        Candied oranges are one of the few sweets I love. Yup, I’m not a dessert person. I love the sweet on bitter combination.

        BTW, what kind of work were you doing in the film industry, I’ve been meaning to ask?


      • Continuity, mostly. But a bit of everything. I should post my bloody industry c.v., eh? [grin]
        Ever you want to know about what the devil continuity is, ask. I love to describe it. Or you could read my book, of course … [grin]

        Liked by 1 person

      • You were in charge of making sure each shot was the same as the last, right. Each cigarette had to be burned to the exact point, each drink filled, buttons buttoned — un unbuttoned (that last bit sounds fun). 🙂

        But go ahead and describe it. You have a nice way with language.


      • Ah … while you’re certainly not wrong, that doesn’t account for the MOST IMPORTANT bit (which is NOT unbuttoning blokes’ shirts, btw! [grin]) – action continuity. And that’s what I loved best. One day I
        l’ll bore everyone even more shitless than in my post


      • Chic, being a stillsman on film crew, never had to worry about that (very accurate) description of taking photos, Steven – because it was all totally unreal, anyway!


  3. The pictures of the dolls are tres beautiful! Congrats on the new camera & hope you and the lighting become one 🙂


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