Happy Girls’ Day!

Arts

Hinamatsuri, or the doll festival, is observed on March 3 to celebrate female children and pray for their continued health and happiness.

During the holiday, also known as momo no sekku (peach festival), families display dolls dressed in the ornate, decorative robes of the ancient imperial court. 

In Hawaiʻi, girls are given red or pink diamond shaped mochi called chichidango. The colors represent peach blossoms and other flowers, with white signifying snow or purity, and green symbolizing growth or fertility.

Seasonal Traditions

March 3 marks the observance of the hinamatsuri (doll festival), one of five sekku, or seasonal festivals, celebrated through the year in Japanese culture. Together known as gosekku, these events took shape as a result of Chinese philosophy and were first observed by courtiers during the Heian period (794–1185). Ceremonies were conducted and special dishes prepared and eaten to ensure good fortune. The festivals fell on the first day of the year’s first month, the third day of the third month, and so on—dates considered to be highly auspicious due to the coupling of odd numbers for the month and date. On the modern calendar, they are celebrated on January 1, March 3, May 5, July 7, and September 9.

Over time, the March sekku took on aspects of a broader tradition involving the making of simple paper dolls called hitogata. These dolls were common toys for children of aristocratic families as well as serving as katashiro, or emblems used in purification rituals. The hinamatsuri gradually became a time to give thanks for the health and development of young girls, thanks to the influence of a traditional form of doll play called hina-asobi.

March 3 is also referred to as momo no sekku, or the peach festival. The blossoms of the peach tree, which according to the lunar calendar bloom around the beginning of the third month, are not only prized as harbingers of spring but are traditionally thought to ward off malevolent spirits. These aspects, along with their beauty, have combined to make them an essential decoration of the hinamatsuri.

Peach Blossoms in Sapporo, 2017

Imperial Court Dolls

The most mesmerizing part of hinamatsuri is, naturally, the intricately crafted dolls. These are displayed on a red-carpeted, stepped platform called a hinadan. On the top step are the central figurines of the festival, the male odairisama and female ohinasama. These figures, said to represent members of the imperial family, are waited on by the sannin kanjo (three court ladies), gonin bayashi (five musicians), and other attendants who sit, along with such court regalia as sake cups and elaborate chests of drawers, on lower steps. The dolls and regalia together are known as hinakazari. They can vary from simple to elaborate, multitiered displays. They originated in the court culture of Kyoto and first began spreading across the nation in the eighteenth century.

In the days leading up to the festival, households with young daughters displayed the ornately dressed figurines prominently, where they can be admired by family members and guests. However, once the festival is finished, custom dictates that dolls and decorations be quickly packed away, as it is believed that leaving them out too long will harm a daughter’s chances of marriage.

Families often buy a new set of dolls when the first daughter is born, while others pass down hinakazari from one generation to the next. In the past it was not uncommon for new brides to take their set with them when they married. Undoubtedly, the hinadan represented one of the most splendid and valuable possession in the home and was cherished not just by girls, but the entire household. Many old hinakazari still remain and hold importance to broader society as cultural treasures.

Setting up, taking down, and storing the hinadan requires time, patience, and space. In recent years, simple, compact sets of dolls prearranged in glass cases have grown in popularity. Many families are also choosing to forego purchasing a full set in favor of one featuring only the odairisama and ohinasama, a type of display known as shinnō kazari.

The crafting of dolls is still a vibrant industry and one famous center of doll making is Iwatsuki in the city of Saitama, which boasts over 50 shops selling various types of figurines.

A Celebration of Femininity

In the days leading up to March 3, it is common for children to celebrate hinamatsuri by having parties and enjoying treats like hina-arare (multi-colored sweets made from rice and sugar), chirashi-zushi, clam soup, and red and white rice cakes called hishi-mochi. Traditionally, sprigs of peach blossoms are displayed along with dolls at these gatherings.

In certain regions, the ancient tradition of the nagashi-hina is still observed. In this custom, which predates the hinamatsuri by centuries, spiritual impurities are transferred to paper dolls. The dolls are then discarded in a river and allowed to wash away in the current. I love this idea of washing away our impurities because that really is what Jesus does for us!

In the past, a festival dedicated to the celebration of girls was a rare event among the broader culture dominated by men. However, as the country works to bring women to the forefront of society, the hinamatsuri has taken on new aspect as an event celebrating not just the young but all womankind.


I hope you enjoyed learning about my culture with me! I am hoping to return to Japan once COVID blows over and they open up travel again.

Why I Love Vintage

Fashion

My love for vintage started when I wanted to find looks that I wasn’t seeing in malls, or even boutiques. I enjoy having one-of-a-kind or unique pieces in my wardrobe. Now, I have a lot of fun finding gems during my travels or on my spare time.

Additionally, there were a few Instagram stores that I garner inspiration from and that I watched grow in the last few years. @highendhippie & @spacedoutmama have been my favorites!

In college, I also learned about the extremely detrimental impact that fast fashion has on our environment and psyches. Since, I’ve looked for quality pieces that will appreciate in value as I really do believe that the clothing market will become a collector’s market very soon. Cause they just don’t make em like they used to 🤍

2021 Spring Break Lookbook

Fashion

For I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me.
Jeremiah 29:11

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Matthew 6:33

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
John 8:32

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:1-4

Hale Pua Hats & Goods

Entrepreneurship, Fashion

Congratulations to my beautiful hoaloha, Shauna, who just opened her Kailua Town location!

I’m sure that you’ve heard stories about COVID-made entrepreneurs. Fellow Richardson grad, Shauna Kahiapo, has an inspirational story for aspiring local, Native Hawaiian, and women business owners! An attorney who moved from private to solo practice, Shauna had been focusing on foreclosure law for the last five years. However, with the pandemic came moratoriums on foreclosures in Hawaii – which will likely continue for some time into the future. Having a family to support and bills to pay, Shauna knew that she needed to pivot her career during such unprecedented times.

Thus, from her family home in Waimānalo, Hale Pua Hawaii was born. After gauging interest for her hats on Instagram, and receiving an influx of sales, Shauna felt blessed with the opportunity to move into this new territory. She has since been shipping orders worldwide, opened her first storefront location for local pickups in Kailua, and extended her product offerings.

Hale Pua


Feel-good vibes, supplies & gifts crafted with aloha and sustʻāinably sourced

This morning, Shauna was feeding her horses before coming in to work with her daughter – and her brand elicits memories of Old Hawaii enmeshed with her unique island, equestrian, and chic style.

As a mother, she is a big believer in encouraging the next generation of female leadership to fashion their own lifestyles and to find the balance necessary for true success.

We are so happy to see Shauna living her dream, pursuing her passion, and expressing her creativity! When asked about her transition into being a small business owner, Shauna mentioned her legal background ultimately proved helpful as it had developed her problem solving skills. Dealing with various aspects of a family-run business, this has been crucial to her success as of late.

Stay tuned for more products from Hale Pua! Mahalo, Shauna, for our hats & for hosting us at your beautiful shoppe this morning! Can’t wait to see how Hale Pua Hawaii continues to grow.

Pikoʻole Pāpale Hawaiian Crownless Hat (Full Brim)

Season Change

Fashion, Hawaii

I visit all the same spots but they change 🙂

Being back in Hawaii for my birthday month is something I’m so grateful for. When I went to college in Arizona it was something that I missed a lot. There’s nothing like home!

It’s Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, reserved for eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual Lenten sacrifices and fasting of the Lenten season. Stay tuned for my scheduled post tomorrow morning!

Today I drove up to Laie & it was a beautiful day for the beach 🙂

On the way back down, I found this beautiful pink hibiscus. Too bad I didn’t have it while I was taking photos! My #puaoftheday posts tend to be selfies.

Hair Update 💇🏽‍♀️

Beauty

Colored my hair for the first time in almost four years!

If you’ve been following me for a while, I’m sure you have noticed the hair journey I’ve been on these last four years. I decided to grow out my color, then cut my hair 10 times. I finally freed myself from my bangs during COVID.

Since my hair is now long enough to put up or curl, I decided to add some color to mix things up! I love how your hair can change your look so quickly!


The Year of the Metal Ox

Arts

Miya wishes you a Happy Chinese New Year!

Waikiki, Hawaii

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Today, we celebrate Chinese New Year! Wishing your families a prosperous year ahead.

The 2021 Chinese New Year falls on February 12th, 2021 and celebrations culminate with the Lantern Festival on February 26th, 2021. Chinese New Year lasts 16 days, but only the first 7 days are considered a public holiday (February 11th–17th, 2021). Chinese New Year marks the transition between zodiac signs: 2021 is the year of the Ox; 2020 was the year of the Rat.

New Year Traditions

The Chinese New Year has a number of traditions. Here are some of our personal favorites! Learn more about the holiday!

Red Envelopes

2019 Narcissus Court

Elders will give the younger generation red envelopes when they are paid a visit for the new year. The money in red envelopes is also known as 压岁钱 (yā suì qián), literally meaning “money to anchor the year.”

In the past, currency was in the form of donut-shaped coins. They would use red string to tie the coins together, which transitioned to paper money being wrapped in red paper – and now, being put into red envelopes.

Clothing

Wearing new clothes is a tradition that dates back to the Northern and Southern dynasties (420–589 AD). In particular, it was a tradition during the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD) for people to show off their new clothing as they visited friends on New Year’s Day. Wearing beautiful new clothes is a part of the Spring Festival celebrations, just like a special meal.

Wear Red


Celebrate Chinese New Year in style!

Food

A huge part of Chinese culture concerns eating as a family. Learn about special New Year dishes! What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments.

Year of the Ox

2021 is a year of the Metal Ox, which begins on February 12th, 2021and lasts until January 31st, 2022. Ox years are: 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033… Like each zodiac sign, an Ox year occurs every 12 years. The Ox occupies the second position in the Chinese Zodiac. The 12 zodiac animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

The Legend of the Ox

Watch this YouTube video on the Ox:

The story of the rat exploiting the ox to arrive first, and the ox not being upset, reveals the goodness they are supposed to represent. Oxes are known for their diligence, dependability, and strength. They have an honest nature and are patient and consistent. Communication may be a weak point, though, with stubbornness arising at times. Learn more about the zodiac sign.

Stay Safe & Healthy this year!

Mahalo for the Birthday Wishes <3

Fashion

Can’t believe I’m officially in my late 20’s!

26 💠🧿💎

As I get older, I fall more in love with the important things in life.

Spending my days in God’s peace. Surrounding myself with good people. Living out love daily.

This year, I’ve discovered what I truly value. And in that process, I’ve had the freedom to be who I am.

In my 26th year of life, I am so blessed to be growing into my authentic self. I am so grateful for the amazing family members and friends that have been on this journey with me! This last year has been a challenge as I learn to navigate life post-grad. I am thankful for the support of all of you.

Wishing you all a blessed week!

Elise

Interview with Jewelry Social Entrepreneur, Lisa Nakayama

Entrepreneurship, Fashion

Clay to Hope is currently donating 40% of all proceeds to the Hawaii Foodbank

Sakura Collection

I love supporting other women who are working hard for their communities. Lisa Nakayama is a classmate of mine from middle school who recently launched her own jewelry line, Clay to Hope. What I love so much about Lisa’s brand is that she is donating a huge portion of profits to important causes! I am pleased to be interviewing Lisa about her experiences as a social entrepreneur.

What got you to start Clay to Hope? 

Last year in 2020, I spent a lot of time stuck at home feeling helpless. I could not go outside due to the pandemic. Media was inundated with devastating, inconceivable news. Innocent Black people were being murdered by the Police. San Francisco was cloaked in eerie sepia sky due to the wildfires. I am sure many of you can relate when I say it was beyond difficult to stay optimistic throughout the whole year of 2020. I was frustrated at myself because I felt like there was nothing I could do to help the situation.

As I was scrambling to find things to keep me sane, I came across some artists who make polymer clay earrings on Instagram. I have always loved fashion and crafting so I decided to give it a try. While I was doing research on how to make them, I was already having so much fun brainstorming ideas, and that’s when I asked myself, “can I turn this into something more than just a hobby? Can I share this joy with the world?” The more I pondered over the idea, the more ambitious I became. I didn’t want to stop at just selling earrings. I wanted to do more. As cliché as it sounds, I wanted to contribute something to change the world for the better, even for a tiny bit. Therefrom I decided to make my jewelry-making hobby into a donation-based small business to donate a portion of proceeds to a good cause. Clay to Hope was born from my belief that this business could potentially help putting a smile on some faces during this difficult time. So here I am today, creating hope one earring at a time (hence the name Clay to Hope).

White and Gold Collection

Were you struck by anything in the process of building your business? 

When I had the epiphany of turning my hobby into a small business, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was extremely excited to embark on this new journey, but I underestimated how much preparation it takes to build a business. As I graduated college with a Biology degree, I had zero knowledge on business/marketing strategies. There were a lot of YouTube-ing and self-educating that got me here. As a small business owner, you are in charge of everything: designing your product, making the product, managing social media, creating your website, photographing your product, packing and shipping orders, and the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly love every part of it but boy was I naïve thinking it was going to be like a middle school me trying to sell clothes on Instagram. There were so. much. more.

Are you working on a new collection? 

Yes, I am! I am currently working on the Rose Quartz Collection which is going to be available in mid/late-February. I also have many ideas for my future collections: kurogoma matcha (yum), plants, pastel colors, Hawaii, and faux turquoise to name a few. I cannot wait to share them with you! Lastly but not least, thank you, Elise, for giving me the opportunity to talk about my experience here and thank you everyone for your support. We live in a world full of uncertainties nowadays but one thing that I am absolutely certain is that I cannot do this without you. So thank you. I have been overwhelmed with your kind words/support and incredibly grateful for you all. Keep in touch on Instagram @claytohope or my website www.claytohope.com. Shoot me an email if you have any questions/comments/simply want to chat: claytohope@gmail.com

🙂 

Stay safe and stylish!

Thank you so much, Lisa, for sharing with our community at Miya! I’m so proud of you for the amazing work that you’re doing to benefit others and can’t wait to see your future collections!

As cliché as it sounds, I wanted to contribute something to change the world for the better, even for a tiny bit.

Lisa Nakayama