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It's a secret, religious, weird, ceremonial rite of passage for girls that women know. Hopscotch. It was bizarre for boys, because they never played it, and as a boy, I was behind walls, going, ‘What - what happened? What did they do? What do they do here?' And they had a track laid out with numbers, mystic numbers, 1, 5, 7, 8, you know. A bit of a broken doll there, some girl keeping lookout with a skipping rope...
British-European comedian Eddie Izzard
The sound of a door shutting is heard from below.
The last line of A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen. Nora has gone, leaving behind her wedding ring and keys - and husband and family. She leaves for independence and freedom. Does she slam the door? Or does she close it quietly and firmly. Or gently. You decide.
3 March is Hina Matsuri - miniature festival or Doll Day - in Japan. It's Girl's day, 3/3. Boy's day is 5/5. Odd numbers in Japan are lucky. The real name of Hina Matsuri is momo no sekku - peach blossom seasonal festival. The name has an elegant feel. Girls used to dress up in special kimono with subtle make-up.
Originally small dolls representing girls were set afloat on a river. As they floated away they were supposed to take evil and danger away with them, leaving the real daughters of the house safe. Nowadays dolls dressed in Heian period style kimono are still displayed formally on tiers. Special food is eaten that day - chirashizushi - vinegared rice with assorted fish scattered on it.
In Japan dolls are used in a mainstream performing art, bunraku puppet theatre. The puppets are manipulated by puppeteers called ningyotsukai and multiple handlers dressed all in black called kuroko. Once a performance starts you don't notice them. Takeshi Kitano directed a 2002 movie called Dolls with an underlying theme of bunraku. All those people working with the puppets are men. Noh performers are men. Kabuki performers are men.
I know a few women martial arts teachers in Japan. But only a few.