81-Year-Old Woman Develops Mobile Game Based on Japanese Holiday

Masako Wakamiya via iTunes
Masako Wakamiya via iTunes / Masako Wakamiya via iTunes

Masako Wakamiya has found a modern way to celebrate a tradition from her Japanese heritage. At age 81, she devoted herself to learning how to code. Now, after six months of studying and with guidance from her teacher, RocketNews24 reports that Wakamiya has developed her own mobile game.

The app, titled Hinadan, is inspired by the annual Girl’s Day (Hinamatsuri) celebrations in Japan. During the days surrounding the actual holiday on March 3, dolls dressed in traditional clothing from the Heian period (794 to 1185 CE) are showcased in homes that have a young daughter. The order of the figurines is very important; for example, the first row of the stand is always occupied by the emperor and empress dolls.

To play Hinadan, players arrange 12 cartoon dolls into their proper spots on a four-level display. Some knowledge of the Japanese practice is required to win, but if players are not familiar with the holiday, the game gives them the opportunity to learn. The voiceover also provides assistance, if users find themselves struggling.

You can watch Wakamiya run through the game below.

Hinamatsuri displays are set up at the end of February and taken down the day after the official festival on March 3. To observe the event outside of Japan, you can download Hinadan for free from Apple’s app store.

[h/t RocketNews24]