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Japanese Hina Doll Display

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Project by danoaz posted 05-11-2015 10:49 PM 605 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Japanese have a celebration every year on March 3rd called Girl’s Day or Doll’s Day or “Hinamatsuri”. I won’t go into all the details but a doll display is made with the Emperor and his wife on top and with each step down there is a level for very specific dolls and objects. I made this for the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, which is a Japanese Garden dedicated to the education and sharing of culture between Phoenix and the sister city of Himeji, Japan.
I used 1×3/4 Cedar with open mortise and tenon joints on the stair stepping supports and on the trim of the shelves. I also used 1/8 oak plywood on both sides of the supports for stiffness and for the top of the shelves and the cross brace members in the back. You have to imagine small Japanese women putting this together and so it had to be simple and lightweight. I used screws with wing-nuts that can be loosened to fold the bracing vertical and horizontal supports of the stair steps. The back X-bracing is somewhat flimsy but when used in this fashion they make for great stiffness of the fame. I also put blocking on the underside of the shelves so that they lock into the 1×3/4 stair step supports making the shelves a stiffener to the whole structure and not just sitting loose on top. It was all a lot of fun and a challenge because I had only repaired a piece of an old doll display and never saw the entire thing put together. As you can see the final product is covered for the celebration which is a bit sad for me, but it is humbling to know that I had a small hand in continuing a tradition that goes back hundreds of years. The display is 4 feet 6 inches wide by 5 feet high. Thanks for looking.

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright





3 comments so far

View jesinfla's profile

jesinfla

274 posts in 601 days


#1 posted 05-11-2015 11:46 PM

Nice looking display stand – thanks for sharing – when it folds up it appears the shelf supports fold into the frame?

-- They said I could be anything... So I became Sarcastic! They also said making drawers is easy... I think they lied :(

View danoaz's profile

danoaz

220 posts in 1633 days


#2 posted 05-12-2015 12:14 AM

Jes, The X-Braces in the back have small blocks attached to them that attach to the three shelf supports. Those are full detached by taking out the screws and wingnuts. The back vertical piece of the shelf supports is attached with a half over lap so that it is in the same plain as the stair stepping support. It folds by loosening the wing nut. The bottom horizontal piece is a full overlap so that it is on the side of both the stair step and the back vertical. At the front overlap the wingnut can be loosened so that it folds but you first have to unscrew the wingnut and pull out the screw in order to detach it from the overlapping vertical in the back. When it is all dismantled and put into storage there are the seven shelves, three stair stepping braces with the folded vertical and horizontal pieces and the two x-braces. I hope that all makes sense because it really took me awhile to figure it out in order to make it easy for others to put together and take apart.

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

View danoaz's profile

danoaz

220 posts in 1633 days


#3 posted 05-12-2015 12:25 AM

Here is another picture that might help people understand the support structure.

This was while I was figuring out how to brace it and so you see some temporary feet attached to the back of the stair stepping supports.

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

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