A couple of months ago the Tokyo Friends of Kokeshis Association 東京こけし友の会 asked its members to choose five of their favorite kokeshis and send them to the Kamei Museum in Sendai where they would be put on display along with everyone else's under the theme of "My Favorite Post-WWII Kokeshis" 私の好きな戦後のこけし. Talk about a difficult task! After all, most of our kokeshis have some sort of meaning to us, so whittling it down to just five favorite kokeshis was not easy. In the end we picked a Yajiro kokeshi 弥次郎系こけし by Mr. Sato Seiko 佐藤誠李さん from Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, a Naruko kokeshi 鳴子系こけし by Mr. Takahashi Yoshikazu 高橋義一さん from Naruko Onsen, Miyagi Prefecture, a Zao-Takayu kokeshi 蔵王高湯系こけし by Mr. Ishiyama Kazuo 石山和夫さん from Yamadera Town, Yamagata Prefecture, another Zao-Takayu kokeshi by Mr. Abe Tsunekichi 阿部常吉さん in Atsumi Onsen in Yamagata Prefecture, and an ejiko-type (えじここけし -- a hollow kokeshi that contains smaller kokeshis) Zao-Takayu kokeshi by Mr. Mito Hiroshi 水戸寛さん from Tendo Onsen, also in Yamagata. Hmmm, I see that we leaned heavily on the Yamagata kokeshis. Honestly though, we could easily have expanded the amount to 25, or probably even to 50. Anyway, everyone's kokeshis are currently on display at the Kamei Museum, so I guess that means our kokeshis have officially become musuem pieces.
If you can make it by all means visit the museum in person and see the kokeshis. If that's not possible then click below for a web page that shows all kokeshis, including ours. Here's a hint for finding ours -- it's the only one with a non-Japanese name on the card.
My hat goes off to the Kokeshi Association -- this is a really great project that shows what kind of kokeshis our fellow enthusiasts enjoy.