Happy Hina-Matsuri!

I hope everyone is having a great day! While it’s still March 2nd here in Canada, it’s been March 3rd, Hinamatsuri, in Japan for several hours already. Last year, I made a set of dolls with perler beads. The year before that, origami. This year I decided to go for a double-whammy. I drew a set which are also available as a print, and I made this adorable set from Nanoblock that was super fun to put together.

May this year be filled with luck and love to you and all the girls and women in your lives.

This post contains affiliate link(s). If you choose to purchase, I receive a small rebate or commission which goes to the continued maintenance of this site.

Happy Hina-matsuri!

Today is 雛祭り or Hina-matsuri! Literally translated as doll festival, it’s also referred to as Dolls Day or Girls Day. Dolls representing the Emperor and Empress (and, should you have the space and budget, also members of the court) are set out on a display and people pray for the happiness and health of any girls in the household.

Originally, I had planned to do a coordination on Tsukiko, something girly and pastel and princessy, but that idea got a bit derailed today. I might give it a shot tomorrow.

Instead, I remembered I had a new kimono doll post in the works, and figured what better day to finish it up and post it than today? These kimono dolls posts continue to be some of the most popular features on this blog if my back-end statistics are to be believed. I’m glad people enjoy them as much as I do. Especially with my health issues, and living in a country where it can go from -40 to +40 in the span of a few months, these dolls give me a way to enjoy coordinating and experimenting with kimono in a way nothing else can. Kimono and wafuku continue to grow in popularity and their presence is becoming more and more mainstream, which means lots of fun new dolls to play with! Here are a few recent ones I’ve found and particularly enjoyed.

cde-seikoSeiko Dressup - A very cute, chibi-style doll with lots of wardrobe options. She's got a selection of traditional and hime-style outfits, and the option to mix and match top and bottom halves. There are accessories to play with and you can change her makeup, but the doll base is fixed.
cherry bloom girlCherry Bloom Girl - A fairly decent selection of kimono, obi, accessories, and hairstyles. However, not all accessories fit with all hairstyles, and not all obi fit with all kimono. Still quite pretty and fun to play with though.
coupleRoyal Couple - Cute graphics, and lots of pretty options for the Empress, but I feel like the Emperor was an afterthought. He's got way less options, and most of his outfits feel more like yukata than courtly wardrobe, so there's a bit of a disconnect when the two are together.
japanese girlJapanese Girl - Despite the name, the doll in this game doesn't strike me as very Japanese-looking. She's pretty though. There are a few hairstyles to choose from, and ten kimono. However, the kimono and obi are connected, so there's not a huge amount of mix-and-matching here.
kitcuteKit the Kimono Designer - This is one of the best new kimono dress-up/creator games I've seen in a long time. It's got a very sweet hand-drawn art style and a ton of customisation! You can customise all aspects of the doll base and then create hundreds of possible kimono variations by mixing a huge selection of colours and patterns. Be careful with this one; it would be very easy to lose track of time while playing with it!

I also made my own origami Obina (emperor) and Mebina (empress) origami dolls. You may have seen them already if you follow me on Instagram, but here is a better photo.


Kimmidolls – A modern take on a Japanese classic

If you’re reading this blog, odds are high that you’ve got at least a passing familiarity with kokeshi dolls. They are one of the most easily recogniseable traditional Japanese art forms. The simple little dolls, with their smooth bodies and big round heads, are naive and charming, while maintaining that quintessential clean-lined aesthetic.

As you may already know, I work in a toy store and love hoarding collecting action figures and art vinyl toys. So imagine how thrilled to bits I was when I came across Kimmidolls. They are made in Australia, and remain true to the spirit and aesthetic of traditional kokeshi while also reflecting modern aesthetics and collecting. While they all have the same smooth body and blunt bob hairstyle, each doll has a unique facial expression and kimono. Rather than being carved of wood, they are made of a heavy and durable stone resin. They are all individually named, and each doll represents a positive emotion or personality trait. They are incredibly adorable and appeal to both my kimono fascination and my urge to collect things. There are four sizes, from the tiny key-chain models to the limited-edition extra-large ones, often decorated with Swarovski crystals.

My collection is small, but I only discovered these beauties late last year.



I’ve got a wishlist, and hope to keep my collection growing. They’re an affordable little indulgence, especially when I am too broke and too big to wear kimono as frequently as I’d like to. For a full list of current Kimmidolls I own and ones on my wishlist, please click here.

Kimmidolls can be found frequently in Australia, Asia, and Europe, but may also be available in smaller art/collectibles shops in North America, and are easily available from online retailers such as Tokyo Otaku Mode, Chesterton Manor, City Lights Collectibles, and eBay. There is also the Kimmidoll International fanpage on Facebook, where they engage with fans and post about upcoming collections. And if you are lucky enough to find yourself at Walt Disney World, the Mitsukoshi Department Store in the Japanese Pavilion at Epcot has a huge selection. It’s where I got Airi and Chikako.

I purchased this item myself and chose to review it. I received this item as a gift.

Fun With Kimono Dolls, part 3!

The first two entries in this series were so fun and so well-received I thought that another round would be a fun way to get back into regular blogging. Lots of neat new kimono doll-maker apps have come out since I did the first two, so hopefully you will find one you love. 🙂

I have also gone through the previous entries and tidied them up, removing dead links and adding larger thumbnails.

Wedding Kimono - Lots of fun, flashy, modern-style uchikake in this one! There is a variety of skintones and some versatile wigs, so decent base customisation. You can choose from several different kimono and several different obi.
Girls Kimono Show - Two girls in this one! Lots of very fun furisode and accessories. Kimono and obi are already paired, but you can choose handbags, footwear, scarves, etc to coordinate. There are also outfits with hakama. Plenty of hairstyles, eyecolours, makeup, etc to choose from but the skin tones are fixed.
Cute Kimono - Bit of a misnomer here, this one is actually yukata. Plenty of adorable patterns that vary from traditional to modern. Decent choice of accessories, and the base model is pretty customisable too.
Geisha Scene - By far the most customisation when it comes to the kimono. You can choose colours, patterns, accents, etc. There are also lots of options for collar and hem style, and you can make them as accurate or as inaccurate as you'd like. Up to three ladies can be included, and their hairstyles, makeup, and skintone can all be changed. Tons of options in this one!
Garden Geisha Scene - Choose from a selection of pre-designed kimono and obi, and then choose accessories, parasol, footwear, etc. Not a lot of customisation, but still makes a lovely little doll.
Furisode Maker - Lots of patterns and colours available in this one. Personally I find the pose a little awkward, but still fun. There are a selection of skin tones in this one too, but they seem to all be tint shifts of the original colour and as such don't feel very natural.
Chibi Kimono Maker - Quite possibly I've saved the best for last. This is where my new sidebar avatar came from, and it has an enormous variety of colours, patterns, and textures. There are options for multiple layers of pattern and gradient for the kimono, fancy obijime, date-eri, all the fun little accessories that make kitsuke such a creative hobby. Lots of hair colours and styles and a wide array of skintones give you tons of freedom with this adorable little doll maker.

A few photos

Not a big update today. As some of you know, one of my other passions is photography. Earlier today I went to the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre of Montreal‘s Japanese crafts show/festival, and I thought I would share some of the photos I took that I am especially fond of.

Japanese Doll

Origami box

And this is a box of wagashi for Hina Matsuri that Kansai_gal sent me a few weeks back. I finally managed to find time to photograph them before I ate them! Cute, and delicious!
Hina Matsuri Wagashi