Ironically, the same day I published my post about hina matsuri, another dairibina pair showed up in my mailbox.
For some reason hina matsuri emperor and empress pairs sometimes appear to depict children, and are then referred to as “young birds” or specifically “chicks.” I don’t why this is. Perhaps the creators of the dairibina think they will be more appealing to children if the emperor and empress are portrayed as children themselves, or perhaps they are referencing the historic tradition where Japanese emperors ascended the throne at a very young age, essentially ruling as figureheads with a powerful adult regent making the real decisions.
These hina matsuri chicks come from a shop called Wakeiseijyaku in Saitama City, just north of Tokyo. I think they are a particularly charming pair, thanks to their tiny smiles and milky crackle glaze. Their body shape may be intended to represent kimono, but to me it suggests the way an infant is swaddled. However, it does appear that the emperor’s kimono or cloth is wrapped left over right, which is the proper way.