Paper dolls have been used since before the coming of Christ to ward against evil, to burn in effigy, to amuse and entertain. A power that has existed for over two thousand years is finally awakening.
Ito Yoshihiro was bored out of his mind. The museum tour seemed to be lasting forever and the dull, monotone voice of his teacher, Mr Matherson, washed over him in waves. He'd been in New York for two years and he had decided he had enough.
It hadn't even been his idea to come here, his parents had put him into the scholarship program without even consulting him. It was for the best, they had said. He could learn something of the world outside of Ohio, make something of himself. He didn't buy it.
"Mr. Ito, I know you must be awfully bored, since you obviously know all this already. Perhaps you'd like to share some of your vast knowledge of the hina with the class?"
Yoshihiro snapped out of his resentful musing to sea of faces. Kathy Walker grimaced at him apologetically.
"Huh? Uh... ummm... they're like, er, dolls and stuff."
"May I suggest, Mr. Ito, that you pay a little more attention. This entire exhibit is, as you so eloquently put it, about 'dolls and stuff'. Does anyone else want to answer for him?"
Joshua Greggs put up his hand and began to speak. "The Hina are Japanese paper dolls, typically made during the Hina Matsuri, or Doll Festival."
"Very good Joshua. I hope you were paying attention Mr. Ito."
Yoshihiro rolled his eyes and sunk his hands into his pockets. Kathy dropped back alongside him as the group moved on to the next item on the tour.
"Sorry, I tried to warn you but you were in a world of your own."
"Meh, Matherson can go screw himself. I've never even been to Japan, how am I meant to know all this crap? He's just being a racist prick."
"Yeah, well you probably should be paying attention, there is probably going to be a test you know."
Yoshihiro just sighed. He would have slumped even lower if it was possible.