Hina no Tsurushikazari (Hanging Decorations for Dolls Festival) (雛のつるし飾り)

Hina no Tsurushikazari is a custom of hanging decorations in the Izuinatori area going back to the Edo period. They are decorated on both sides of Hina dolls on tiered platforms for the first sekku (seasonal turn) of the first daughter of a family to wish for good health and good match. In the past, the common people decorated them, while higher class people did it with Hina dolls on tiered platforms.

History

In the Izuinatori erea, it was originally just called Tsurushi and did not have any other particular name. There are only a few old Tsurushikazaris left now, because people normally burn them at New Year Dondoyaki (fire festival) at each point of life of their children like 7th birthday, coming of age and getting married. Since 1993, it has been included in the handicraft course of the Inatori Women's Club and seen in a new light and got the name "Hina no Tsurushikazari". Tsurushi is written "吊るし" in Kanji, but the character is not appropriate to indicate lucky objects so it is not recommended to write it in Kanji.

In 1998, Inatori Association of Sightseeing held Hina no Tsurushikazari Festival as the main event to promote tourism, and after that they had problems with similar products and events made or held by outside makers, sekku (seasonal turn) goods shops, handicraft shops etc. On this issue, Higashi-Izu Commerce and Industry Association established "Inatori Momo no Kai (Peach Association). They are working with "Kinu no Kai (Silk Association) to encourage production and purchase of Tsurushikazari meeting the standard for quality in member stores.

Summary

There are 50 shapes in Tsurushikazari now including the basic ones: peach flower (wishing for long life), Monkey (protection against bad luck), Triangle (traditional pill or incense bag shaped). The basic form has total 110 ornaments hung: two sets of 55 ornaments including 11 ornaments each on 5 red strings.

Those are generally made into 170cm lengths and hung on a ring 30cm in diameter called Sagewa, and the number of ornaments are combined in odd numbers like 3, 5, 7 or 9. The reason is that it is a lucky object as stated above, for which Japanese people avoid using even numbers, because even numbers are divisible.