Boy's Day Festival in Japan


are shown in Girl's Day and Boy's Day festivals in Japan, and cherished over the generations. Boy's Day dolls can consist of anything from a healthy-looking Sumi wrestler to a samurai warrior or his armor.


The big fish is daddy, next size down is mother, the next smallest is elder son or daughter. In the countryside, on a rope across a river, the fish banners represent the villagers. Beside the obvious link with festivals, collecting dolls has a much deeper psychological basis. It is believed that ancient Japanese samurai warriors tied cloth mascot underneath their clothing before going into a particularly ferocious fight.

Further north in Istanbul, touring the museum on Topkapi grounds above the Bosphorus, you come across the statue of Sappho and the same sense of recognition hits you. This woman lived. And loved, and wrote amazing poetry.

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