Unification News for

April 1998


Good Fortune Comes To New Jersey Jin-A School

by Jin-A Staff-Clifton, NJ

We wish to publicly acknowledge and thank Mrs. Hiramoto and the Los Angeles National MFT for donating a very special gift to New Jersey Jin-A Childcare Center. Valued in the thousands of dollars, the "Ohinasama," or Japanese display of traditional dolls, stands tall in our office, waiting to be seen by all the parents, children and teachers.

Every year, from the end of February until March 3, a holiday especially for girls, is celebrated in Japan. This holiday is called Hina Matsuri, translated as "Doll Festival." Dolls are displayed on a red-carpeted staircase elaborately decorated with the Emperor and Empress on the top stair, followed by six lower stairs for the Emperor and Empress on the top stair, followed by six lower stairs for the Emperorís close attendants, next step their musicians, next step their prime ministers with weapons which means loyalty, next step the servants, next step furniture which includes a tea set for the tea ceremony, and finally down to the last step of carriages and a gyushah-which is similar to a rickshaw but pulled by a cow. The cow has a special meaning as a messenger from God which only royalty can use in this way. This doll display is all in miniature, of course. Such displays are passed down to a daughterís descendants if kept in good condition.

The Hina Matsuri holiday is not just for fun. Parents pray before this display for their daughters good fortune through life, which includes finding a good husband. And the display cannot be exhibited too long or the daughter may never marry!

Part of a good school program is recognizing the cultures of the children attending the school. Therefore, Mrs. Izumi Zaccaro explained the holiday in a talk specifically designed for her young audience. And then came the fun of preparing Oshi Sushi, a large rice cake, together. Mrs. Yuko Karjalainen led a lovely origami art project. We would also like to extend a special thank you to Mrs. To, who brought the collection to us from Los Angeles and set up the doll display for us at Jin-A.

Jin-A deeply appreciates this gift as a tool to better love, serve and educate all the children. We also wish to convey our pride in being the caretakers of such precious gifts. Mrs. Christl Brunkhorst, director of N.J. Jin-A, reminisced, "You know, I was once on Los Angeles MFT myself."

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