Dear fellow kokeshi enthusiasts: If you're in Japan right now and are free this weekend (5-6 October) then I highly recommend making a trip to beautiful Yamagata City 山形市 for the annual Michinoku Kokeshi Festival みちのくこけしまつり (hyperlinked). The web site is in Japanese, but I think you'll get the idea. Here's an image of the poster (click for a larger view). This is a great traditional kokeshi event that is well worth it, and there are usually a number of craftsmen on hand to talk to. Hope to see you there!