Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Birmingham Public Library’s March 2 Doll Festival Will Highlight Japanese Culture

Birmingham Public Library employee Haruyo Miyagawa with her hina dolls when she was a year old. Hina dolls are part of the Japanese culture and are displayed during the annual Doll Festival. Miyagawa will have some of these dolls on display at the library on Sunday.

The Birmingham Public Library will host a Doll Festival on Sunday, March 2, 3:00-5:00 p.m., Central Library. Children may bring their favorite doll or action figure, watch a Japanese tea ceremony, enjoy refreshments, and more. The event is free and for all ages.

During Sunday's library event, Japanese dolls will be on display, including the library's Miss Iwate. Miss Iwate is one of the Japanese "Friendship Dolls" Japan sent to American institutions in the mid-1920s as a thank you after American children sent blue-eyed dolls to the children of Japan. The Birmingham Public Library is the only place in Alabama that still has the doll that was given to Alabama. Miss Iwate is now in need of repair. Sunday's event is designed to bring attention to Miss Iwate and to highlight Japanese culture.

Yari Crawford, 4, is ready for Sunday's Doll Festival.
Children will be able to make Samurai hats for themselves and their dolls, sample Japanese-themed foods and participate in an origami workshop. All events will take place in the library's second-floor Story Castle.

In Japan, the annual Doll Festival or Girls' Day Festival is known as Hinamatsuri, which is held on March 3. Their festival focuses on wishing for the health and future happiness of young girls. Sunday’s event will carry a similar message for all children.

For more information and images on Miss Iwate, visit

For more information about the library’s Doll Festival, call 205-226-3670.

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