Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

Paper dolls――

They all look as if

They want to be in love



Masaoka Shiki

A haiku of 1893 from Kanzan Rakuboku (Cold Mountain, Bare Trees).The Dolls’ Festival (March 3) is ancient in origin. Its dolls probably originated from the paper dolls used in Shinto prayers and purification ceremonies. In medieval times, the festival dolls, like Shinto ceremonial ones, were thrown into the river or the ocean after the holiday was over. This similarity suggests that paper dolls for the Dolls’ Festival were probably the earliest form. Among the many haiku, traditional and modern, about the Dolls’ Festival, Shiki’s is rather unusual. The language and tone are straightforward and unadorned, but there is a kind of overflowing affection for the dolls, whose captivating expressions suggest they would speak if they could.



Kamibina ya


koi shitasou na


kao bakari

正岡子規(まさおか しき)