Today, March 3rd, is celebrated as Doll’s Festival or Girls’ Day in Japan. To celebrate this day, each family decorates its tokonoma/ living room with a representation of the wedding between a young emperor and a young empress-to-be from the Heian period, more than a thousand years ago. At that time, having daughters and marrying them off to the sitting emperor meant one sure way for a father to gain political power. The dolls of emperor and empress are traditionally accompanied by dolls of three ladies-in-waiting, two ministers, five musicians, and three footmen as well as life necessities for the bride, such as bureaus for kimonos and ox-cart. A vehicle seems to have been one of the life-necessities for women for a long time.

These days some automobiles are considered as “babe” magnets by men and perhaps by women as well.

This afternoon as I came back to my car after shopping I noticed a young woman with straight blond hair, who looked about 15, taking many photos of the car parked next to mine. It was a silvery gray open sports car. She was so enchanted by it she took probably about a dozen or more photos of this car from various angles. Soon, another person, a middle-aged man with balding hair, appeared to appreciate the car, chatting with her. Then finally the owner of the car approached, a slightly overweight white haired man. The three of them chatted about the car. As I drove off from the parking lot, I thought to myself, “So that’s what’s called a babe magnet.” Probably, “babe” is not the right word to apply to the picture-taking teenager, since “babe” seems to refer to a more buxom, sexually mature woman. The smooth contoured sports car was cute and lovely, and probably it makes the driver feel young again. (I wonder if the round smoothness of the sports cars is subconsciously attracting the very young and the people approaching the twilight years due to their resemblance to the toys they had when they were babies.)

Interestingly, as I drove back home I noticed many open sports cars on the road. It was as if all the owners of the open sports cars had decided to drive their cars today due to the happy weather. (By the way, there are not so many open sports cars around our area. Since we have so many rainy days it is simply not practical to own a convertible, unless, of course, one has several cars.) By far the most spectacular was a red sports car that folded its mechanical roof down as it waited at the traffic stop. Since people tend to get bored when waiting for a traffic light change, probably many people watched the sports car’s theatrical performance. The driver appeared to be a middle-aged man.