Monday, March 1, 2021

Somewhere between winter and spring

It's March!
Ume blossoms, the floral harbinger of spring of Japan, have brightened up 
the pale wintry landscape.

March is the month when changes happen dramatically repeating cold and warm spells
as is Japanese saying 三寒四温 meaning "three cold days, four warm days."
This year, however, the changes have been occurring record early since the first snowfall in January.
Temperature topped 24C on February22.

Winter and spring have alternated.

Medical care workers finished the first jab of vaccine against COVID-19 mostly
but the vaccination project is largely delayed.
Plans for spring is up in the air in spite of an air of expectation.
But spring will come for sure.

March 3 is time-honored Doll's Festival dedicated to girls.
One day in mid-February, I rolled up my sleeves and got busy to display 
a set of hina dolls on the seven-tired stand.
The time-consuming, tough work was paid off by the joyful reaction of 
three-year-old M living nearby.

Empress Doll and the view from the top

Dolls' Festival is a celebration for healthy growth and wellbeing of girls.
 Dolls are believed to protect people from diseases and misfortunes.
I'm thankful to be able  to watch over how my grandchildren (not only girls)
 growing individually through their various different challenges - ballet, 
swimming, abacus, music, shogi, flower arrangement, soccer, academic skills, etc.

Rolled sushi, gyoza, hamburger steak, bento for picnic, strawberry cake - all of my Grands like cooking.
F and Y finished the primary course of "Ikebana", the art of traditional flower arrangement.

Dolls' Festival is a tasteful celebration, too.
"Chirashi zushi/sushi" (bottom in the mosaic) is made with lotus roots, 
boiled shrimps, thinly shredded eggs, salmon roes or smoked salmons, etc., as you like, 
on the vinegared rice.
As to other delicacies, look at this past post Cheers to Hina dolls and Womanhood!

Last week, two of my friends and I got together, not virtual but in person at my home.
Air was chilly but the sun was quite kind while we were outside.
We had tasteful conversation wearing one or two masks...., 
wishing of the talk over lunch or refreshment someday as we used to do.

Linked to Mosaic Monday


  1. I love hearing about all of your cultural celebrations Yoko. Your country certainly knows how to celebrate so many wonderful things. Your doll collection is very special. I also look forward to the cherry blossoms each year both through your photos and here in person. I think we are still 2 weeks away from any blooms here. Hard to believe since we just had snow. I hope this year we can enjoy the blossoms longer because last two years they did not last long due to heavy rains one year and heavy wind in another year. I look forward to spring. Enjoy yours.

  2. Lovely pictures !
    Your festivals are always interesting and beautiful ! You have a rich culture !
    And I thank you for sharing it with us.
    Have a shinny week !

  3. Your dolls are lovely. Happy Mobth of March

    I am at 11 on the linky today


  4. Dear Yoko!
    The first signs of spring have already appeared in your country. I am delighted with the rapeseed flower! I am full of admiration that you are watching over the development of passion in your children (grandchildren). Beloved Yoko, it's great that you find time to meet friends.
    Hugs and greetings.

  5. Hello dear Yoko,
    Fascenating to see your celebrations. It's great to see that the children love cooking. Sushi is famous to eat in Holland too!
    Happy springtime and a new month of March

  6. Lovely, stardust! This reminds me of a dollhouse I have saved complete with miniature furniture and costumed princesses. I am also reminded of how wonderful and normal it is socializing in person with a friend. This pandemic experience will make me treasure such future moments more than ever!

  7. How lovely to have spent time with your friends - one of the great things missing from our lives currently is being able to be sociable.
    The festival dedicated to young girls looks really interesting - you made a lovely arrangement with all of your doll treasures.
    Here we have been enjoying unusually warm weather, it has been almost like mid-summer.

  8. Yoko - the Doll's Festival display is amazing. Thank you for including a close-up of the Empress doll - very impressive. I also appreciate that you shared the food that is associated with the Festival. I am happy for you that you were able to get together with a couple of your friends. I think most of us really want to return to personal contact with others! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

  9. Spring will be here soon. I can’t wait for the first blossoms to show themselves. Some spring flowers have already opened.
    I love the gorgeous dolls display, are they all yours?

    1. Thank you for the comment, Friko. The set of Hina dolls was customarily presented to my daughter for her first Doll’s Festival by my father. They are my daughter's but somehow I've taken care of them even after her marriage.

  10. That’s an amazing doll display. I think it would light the wonder in any age. Your mosaics are cool. I especially like the one of your grands. :-)

  11. The spring is not here in Canada yet, but I hope we will see signs in March. Your hina dolls on the seven red tiers of the stand are so very beautiful! And your grandchildren are learning ikebana.... how wonderful! Japan has so many surprises for me. I am glad that you could visit with your friend, I have been alone for a long time, I think all my friends have forgotten me!

  12. I like seeing your Hina doll collection. I can just imagine a 3 year old viewing it. Yes, we must celebrate our grandchildren growing individually, meeting their challenges and reaching their goals. I love the photos of your friends (my friends, too) spending some careful time together,enjoying each other's company. The Ume blossoms herald your spring. I always look forward to their bloom.

  13. What a lovely Post... I enjoyed reading about the Hina dolls, the celebration. Love it. Thank you for sharing.

    ...stay healthy and well.

    Happy MosaicMonday

  14. ·.
    I like your photos that reflect your celebrations very well, very different from ours.
    Also here spring appears with temperatures like yours.
    And we are also late in the vaccination against that 'hideous bug'

    Greetings from Spain

    LaMiradaAusente · & · CristalRasgado

  15. Very interesting! Hello, Yoko, happy to see you. Part of the charming face, but still. Would we ever come back to normal living mode? That is a lovely ritual - Doll's Festival. If I were lucky to see that exhibition, my reaction might be louder. Even the picture made me jump with delight! I would love to see each closer, each tiny detail. You’re really lucky to have both boys and girls for Grands.
    Our weather is less sporadic. The forecast promises temperatures milder than -10⁰. Wish you a warm weekend, keep safe.
    P.S. I would also like to try all delicacies=)

  16. La primavera también está llegando por Extremadura, España. Tus fotografías me gustan mucho. Gracias por tu visita. Un beso.


  17. I have been visiting you for a long time and I am very happy to see that you continue to enjoy following the development of your grandchildren. I am also happy to know that you have enjoyed meeting your friends in these days of restrictions.
    The doll exhibition was worth every effort invested in it. It makes me smile to imagine the pleasant impact it had on the three-year-old girl. I myself marvel at it in your photographs. If to this we add the delicious snacks that must have accompanied it, the girls were not only well protected, but also wonderfully celebrated. I would have loved to be there to enjoy it.

  18. The dolls festival is very interesting. How nice to be able to accompany the growth and development of your grandchildren, unfortunately my grandchildren live very far from me, they live in Macau and I live in Portugal. The search for a better life sometimes keeps the children away from us.
    Wonderful photos, I especially loved the first one, it's spectacular.
    Take care and be well
    Greetings from Maria

  19. Φανταστική ανάρτηση! Μοιάζει με μία σειρά διαδοχικών αισθημάτων, τα οποία κάνουν τη ψυχή να αιωρείται σε ένα σύμπαν ομορφιάς.

  20. remarkable photos as always dear Yoko !

    weather is being weird day by day and it seems about whole planet .
    how nice you were able to meet your friends face to face .
    doll festival looks extraordinarily wonderful and beautiful !
    the neatness and beauty of doll making is striking and enchanting !
    i am so happy that your grand kids are active brilliantly in area of learning skills :)
    more shower of blessings to you and loved ones!

  21. Así es amiga. Las reuniones desde hace un año ya, son virtuales y hay muchas ganas de poder hacerlas abrazando a los hijos. Me encanta las fotos contentos estaran los niños con esta celebracón.
    Te deseo un buen jueves Yoko. Cuídate.
    Un abrazo.

  22. I am sending you greetings today, March 11, the anniversary of the Tsunami in Japan 10 years ago. I always remember the date as it is my father's birthday. I am thinking of all the people who lost family members and sending my sympathy.

  23. 幾つになっても何だか嬉しい気持ちになるひな祭り。立派で華やかなお雛様ですね。お孫さん達の声が聞こえてきそうですよ。デッキでのお喋りは楽しかった。ちょっと寒くなってきて、家の中に入れてくれてありがとうございました。


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