Today is Hinamatsuri! This is a Hina Doll Festival or Girl's Day in Japan. Families with daughters display Hina dolls that are supposed to protect against bad spirits. Soon after Hinamatsuri, the dolls are taken down and stored away because of superstitions that if they are kept out for too long, the girl will be late to marry. Many women pass their dolls on to their daughters, although sometimes they are retired at shrines or sent downriver.

These days, sending the dolls down a river is not so popular, but some people will float paper dolls that have the same role: taking your woes away from you. There is a lovers' shrine at Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto where you can write your problem on a paper doll and drop it into a bucket. As the doll dissolves, you can see the writing of your problem lift off of it. It is a gimmick, but it can be very therapeutic.
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