Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Kokeshi Manga こけしの漫画

Happy New Year from the Kokeshi Adventures staff! I know that 2013 is going to be a great year for adventures, especially since we are in the middle of a kokeshi boom. Which brings me to today's topic: A new manga about kokeshis by Ms. Fuyukawa Tomoko 冬川智子さん entitled Itoshi no kokekeshi いとしのこけし (translated as Kokeshi My Love) that came out on 27 November 2012. As kokeshis have become more popular a book like this was almost guaranteed to appear since it seems like every topic in Japan is eventually turned into a manga at some point. Manga, as I'm sure all of you know, are Japanese-style comic books. In this case the author has written a nice little book on how she discovered the world of traditional kokeshis about ten years ago, the eleven different kokeshi families, her kokeshi trips (just like our kokeshi adventures), and ideas about how to display one's kokeshis. The artwork is simple and nice, the text is uncomplicated, and Ms. Fuyukawa's love of kokeshis really comes through. I don't know if a translation is planned, but I think non-Japanese kokeshi enthusiasts will still appreciate this book even if they don't understand the dialogue. After all, kokeshis seem to speak to the heart rather than the head, so they transcend language! Here are some images of pages from the book.

You can see that Ms. Fuyukawa mixed in actual photos of kokeshis along with her artwork. Therefore, this book really is a good introduction to the world of traditional kokeshis.
Display ideas.
A comic book version of a kokeshi adventure in Aomori.
Naoko received this as a Christmas present and read it immediately. She gives it a big thumbs up and says that it reminds her of experiences with kokeshis. I agree completely, as I found myself laughing at scenes in the book that are almost exactly what we have experienced. Overall this book is highly recommended.
If you want to know more about Ms. Fuyukawa, including links to where you can get this book, click here.

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