Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Tokyo Kokeshi Friends Meeting 4月東京こけし友の会

The last Sunday of April was the monthly Kokeshi Friends meeting in the Kanda section of Tokyo, so Naoko and I once again headed downtown to see our kokeshi comrades and learn more about our favorite wooden dolls. I'll let the pictures below tell the story of a great day!
Outside the Kanda train station 神田駅.
We had lunch at this Chinese restaurant before the meeting. NOT recommended.
We arrived about 30 minutes before the meeting started and received numbers 56 and 57 for the kokeshi raffle. The room was already packed with anxious kokeshi fans.
In fact it was so packed that we were in the last row of chairs at the very back of the room.
We heard a very nice lecture about these Togatta kokeshis 遠刈田系こけし, and how the craftsman's style evloved over the decades.
Some of the special kokeshis available either for bidding or a drawing. I'm not sure which was which, but for some of them there was a minimum price and whoever had the highest bid won. For the others, one's name was drawn from a box and that person could then purchase the kokeshi that he or she wanted.
Naoko wanted this nice Tsugaru kokeshi 津軽系こけし by Mr. Kon Akira 今晃さん from Aomori Prefecture, but by the time her name was drawn someone else had already gotten it. Too bad -- Mr. Kon's work is awesome and hard to get! 
More of the kokeshis up for bid.
There weren't any new kokeshis at this meeting, but there was a great variety of used kokeshis on the raffle table.
Another view of the raffle kokeshis.

Naoko and I liked this Nambu kokeshi 南部系こけし (right), but apparently someone else did too since it was gone by the time our numbers were called.

I got this little Abe kokeshi during my turn. 600 yen -- not bad.

Naoko got this beautiful Sakunami kokeshi 作並系こけし by the late Mr. Shoji Suzuki 鈴木昭二さん.
Waiting for the train home on the Yamanote Line. Kokeshi Adventure complete!

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