THE OKAZAKI COLLECTION
This collection was given to Ottawa University by an 1887 student from Japan who suffered an early demise. The collection consists of objects from Japan and China, and includes a household Shinto altar, Japanese Hina Matsuri dolls, a buddha statue, backscratchers, wooden sculptures, scroll hangings and figurines. Two dolls from the Hina Matsuri collection are displayed on this page. The Hina Matsuri Doll Festival is celebrated on March 3 in Japan and is sometimes also referred to as the Peach Festival. Girls dress in their best kimonos and homes are decorated with fragrant peach blossoms which are symbolic of gentle feminine qualities. The festival is held by parents, to celebrate their daughters' happiness, growth and good health.
The Hina Matsuri dolls are family heirloom dolls, representing the Emperor and Empress of Japan and the ladies of the Imperial Court. During the festival, guests are very formal and participated in the tea ceremony. Special houses are built in the garden.housing each set of dolls and safeguard them from earthquakes. The Peach Festival originated 1000 years ago in the Heian Period (794-1192) and it has become a traditional Japanese custom to display ceremonial Hina dolls on their tiers of shelves covered with scarlet carpet and dressed in the fashion of the ancient Japanese court. In 1927, 13000 American friendship dolls were sent to Japan for this celebration.