Irish doll

After nine months, I’ve a new addition to my collection. A porcelain Irish doll! 🙂 and it’s a gift/omiyage this time; from a good friend who went for vacation to Ireland recently.


Freckled green-eyed redhead maiden.


Thank you Maha! 🙂


It’s Hinamatsuri! Otherwise known as the Japanese Doll Festival or Girls’ Day, this March 3 festivity involves displaying dolls arrayed in traditional costume typical of the Heian Period. I was reminded of the Hinamatsuri because of Google’s doodle for the day.

Cute right?

As we weren’t able to go around sightseeing this time, i dug up old photos to show hubby, and share here; photos of my trip with friends in Katsuura City, Chiba back in 2008.

The first thing that greeted us from the station was this.

Even hubby was truly impressed and estimated this must have cost millions. And yep, it was just on display with nary a guard around to look after the display.

The community also displayed the dolls on one of the stairs leading to a temple in the area.

Even a doll collector like me see these numbers of dolls gathered together as quite scary. But look up close and you’d just be amazed at the detail.

An Emperor and his Empress.

Can you count the layers of the doll’s kimono?

A court official.

Court musicians.

Usually, the hina-ningyos of the emperor, empress and courtiers are arrayed like this.

But in Katsuura, we found some displays with elaborate houses.

And some other very interesting displays as well. In bamboos! but oopps, one bamboo window is empty! Could someone have…? (gasp!)

Aren’t they cute?

This manner of displaying the dolls is probably the least of my favorites.

Funny, there’s Anpanman series as well!

This dolls are usually on display from around February up to March 4. Read in Wikipedia that having these dolls on display in the house beyond March 4 would result to the daughter of the house marrying late. I wonder if come next year, we’d be celebrating the Hinamatsuri (for the girls) or the Kodomo no hi (mainly for little boys). Hopefully. Excited! 🙂



on Daruma dolls and wishes

One of my officemates hail from Takasaki, Gunma. As omiyage to us after the holidays, he gave each of us a daruma doll.


Representing a famous Zen monk, the daruma doll is a good luck charm usually bought during new year. This tradition of having the daruma doll as good luck charm was started at the Shorinzan Daruma Temple (少林山達磨寺, Shōrinzan Darumaji) in Takasaki several centuries back and has since spread across temples of Japan. (info source:

The daruma is usually bought without the pupils on. You make a wish and paint in a pupil. When your wish comes true, you can then paint on the other pupil. And so our daruma now sits atop Tofu. Pupil painted on by hubs.


At the end of the year, the daruma dolls are returned to the temples to be burned. Hope that when we return ours at the end of the year it already has two pupils on.

on cake toppers and kokeshi dolls

Our wedding cake toppers weren’t really the type that could last a long-distance flight, much less last months after the wedding. Yet hubs was so patient in putting the pieces back together, thinking of a better glue that would last longer than the last one he used. And every time he fixes the cake dolls, something in my chest twitches, my eyes burn a bit, and I am reminded of the many reasons why I married this man.

Hence when I saw Jen’s post in w@w about her kokeshi dolls, I didn’t hesitate to contact Khristine, the kokeshi dolls designer, to have our personalized kokeshi dolls, as my anniversary gift to hubby. By personalized, we mean the dolls will be designed to look like us, wearing clothes that looked like the gown and barong we wore during the wedding.

Turned out it was a great decision. For at least two major reasons. One, I didn’t just get to know a great supplier, I also earned a new friend who’s so amazingly creative. Secondly, I made hubby emotional with the surprise I had for him; he was full of questions on how I made it possible, especially since his doll look a lot like him. Happy me.

Couldn’t count anymore the number of email exchanges Khristine and I had. Being an OC myself, I appreciated her being a stickler for detail as I sent her a number of pictures of me and atsushi and of what we wore during the wedding. Seeing her creations, you’ll understand why. Such detail! Ours were no less different.

Khristine is also one really thoughtful person. A colleague of mine has been very nice to carry the dolls from Manila to Japan. Khristine was so thoughtful in that she left my colleague a note of thanks for carrying the dolls and gave Kristine (my colleague) a cute pair of guy and girl earrings. 🙂

Since the dolls are due to travel some long distance, Khristine promised she’ll pack the dolls in such a way that they’ll still be intact even after a long flight and that Kristine,my colleague, will not have difficulty in carrying the dolls. True to her promise, the dolls were well packed indeed.





The dolls’ bed. And yes, I also have my cute boy and girl earrings. 🙂


The bride aka Marj.




The groom aka atsushi.


I giggle whenever I look at the doll. He looks so very atsushi!


Told Khristine as well about our passions – music and books. She then thoughtfully included it in her package for us. The guitar has real strings!



And the books has both front and back covers.



Khristine also added in the speaker hubs always carry with him whenever he travels.



Dolls are now happily tucked in one of the shelves in the dining room.


Khristine promised she’ll give us something extra special as well. And indeed she gave us something really special. Bookmarks. With our dolls in it. Mind you the photography was really good! We almost hesitated to use them lest we loose them. But then that would defeat the purpose of Khristine giving us the bookmark and so use them, we did.


Thank you SO MUCH Khristine! 🙂 I think you’ll be hearing more from me. 🙂

Do visit her site.


the dolls we brought home from Eastern Europe

I’m a doll collector. Wanted to be one ever since I was six when my parents (or was it my grandmother?) bought me a very pretty and dainty Filipina porcelain doll wearing the Philippine national costume. Wanted to be one ever since I was six when I played with my cheap but really cute United Nations dolls – they were dolls wearing different national costumes (I wonder what happened to them….). And as it happens, when you grow old, you forget about your childhood dreams. Until something reminds you of them.

I worked in a Japanese company hence it was but natural that we have displays of Japanese dolls in the visitors lounge in the office. Seeing the dolls, there came remembrance. One of my best friends, Dhonna gave me my first doll, an omiyage (present) after her first assignment from Japan. And it went rolling from then on. Whenever I travel, I buy the doll of that country. Friends have been very generous as well with their gifts in that whenever they travel to some countries, they also think of me and my collection and buy me a doll. Most of my collection are in my parents’ home in Davao now. With the exception of this exquisite Belgian porcelain lady which my manager in my previous company thoughtfully asked her brother to buy for me. I had it with me because it was the latest doll that was given to me and I wasn’t able to bring her to Davao before I moved to Japan. Customs check ruined her hair and hat and necklace though. 😦 Seeing her not in her perfect state just breaks my heart. 😦 Sorry, she’s surrounded by neighbors who can’t be posted here hence I can only share her bust. 🙂


It was but natural therefore for us to buy dolls during our recent trip to Eastern Europe. I’m having regrets now though that I didn’t buy a porcelain one. Albeit I’m still mighty happy with these new addition to our collection.

Magnet couple dolls we bought in Vienna.


Rustic mother and daughter doll we bought in Cesky Krumlov. Rustic – very Bohemian.


And of course, a marionette that we bought in Prague. It was only during this travel that I learned marionettes originated in Czechoslovakia. It took me a long time to decide which marionette to buy though because most of the original design ones are scary looking and reminds me of witches. Hence I ended up buying this wooden Czech boy.


Friends, hope you remember me during your travels. 🙂

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