Today is hina matsuri here in Japan, and instead of rehashing the same stuff you can read everywhere, I thought I'd share some scans of the assembly instructions for a hina-style doll display from a few decades ago. (Thanks, T!) I put all the images up on Flickr as the set "Hina matsuri how-to", but here are a couple of highlights:

The first thing you have to do when setting up your hina matsuri display is put the framework together. If you have a full seven-layer model, this can involve some tricky balancing, so be sure to wear a mini-skirt under your apron.

Once the hard work is done, a mysterious and more modestly clad woman takes over in glorious color to spread the red cloth and cover it in dolls, miniature swords, etc. Yeah, these things are more or less equivalent to Christmas trees, except with more choking hazards.

Check out the manufacturer's logo:

"Akase". This is a Japanese surname, not wildly uncommon. This much slicker modern-day Akase is old enough to be them, but I have neither hard evidence nor the slightest inclination to search for any.

Extra credit quiz: How much gender-related imagery can you find in this stylized depiction of the empress and emperor at the top of the staircase?

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Joel (Far Outliers):

Let's see. I'm guessing the environmentalist with the Mohawk hair, scalp-piercing, and massive bleeding chest wound is a guy. And I'm guessing the spikey haired one in the red suit with the massive earphones and a white muffler is Santa's sleigh-dispatcher. The muffler is how I know she's female. Does Santa handle girl's day gifts now, as well?

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