In Japan dolls have been a part of everyday life since ancient times. Japanese dolls reflect the customs of Japan and the aspirations of its people, possess distinctive regional attributes, and over the centuires have developed in many diverse forms. Dolls, provide a showcase for traditional Japanese craft products such as textiles.
In Japan on March 3 of each year families with daughters celebrate the Hina Matsuri or Doll Festival. On this day, each family sets out a number of dolls for display, placing a male - female pair of hina dolls at the top of display as a sign of their prayer for the happiness of their young daughters.
The festival for boys that corresponds to the Doll's Festival is called Tango no Sekku (Flag Festival), is held on May 5. Families with sons display sets of miniature armor and figures of costumed warriors and prayers that their sons will grow up strong and healthy.
Hakata dolls which are made in the Hakata area of Kyushu and are representative of clay dolls in Japan, are known for their beautiful colors.
Ichimatsu dolls which realistically depict Japanese children were originally made in the image of Kabuki actor Sanogawa Ichi-matsu.