Solar Dolls. ”We bow with solar power.”

Welcome to my blog

Happy Girls’ Day!  Celebrated in Japan on March 3 with displays of dolls representing the ancient court,  Girls’ Day features special foods, too. Now there’s even a KitKat bar flavored like “strawberry daifuku” (mochi balls filled with strawberries), a Girls’ Day treat.


For my Girls’ Day celebration, I’m choosing to display solar-powered maiko dolls.  The dolls capture the playful spirit of maiko souvenirs. Solar dolls coax you to relax, smile, and show your childlike side. The perky solar maiko atop my desk reminds me to have fun with this blog.

Toy maiko solar

Solar maiko  also calls to mind the associations of “solar power” and feminism in Japan. In 1911 when Seitō (Bluestockings) burst on the scene, it’s rallying cry became, “In the beginning, woman was the sun.”

Manga artist Takenaka Ranko’s 1996 graphic history of the Bluestockings and leader Hiratsuka Raichō

Produced by young Japanese women in Tokyo, Seitō invited women to seek adventure and expand their boundaries, even as they advocated for education and equality.

My blog follows these twin trajectories, having fun while expanding knowledge. I begin with posts about maiko, Kyoto’s apprentice geisha. Researching my book Maiko Masquerade, I ran into lots of stories about maiko and geisha past and present, about art and objects, books and movies, people and places. I’m writing this blog to tell these stories, the comic and the serious, and share images. Let’s see where this solar-powered path goes.

I look forward to your comments. Happy Girls’ Day and thanks for visiting.
Jan Bardsley.

Jan Bardsley, “Welcome to my blog,” March 3, 2021

I designed this website and blog for educational and informational purposes only. I strive to  locate the names of the creators of texts and images cited, and properly acknowledge them.