On the evening of 5 October the Tokyo Friends of Kokeshis Association 東京こけし友の会 held a banquet for a number of kokeshi makers along with enthusiasts from Tokyo, Yamagata, and elsewhere. It was held in the Yamagata Washington Hotel in downtown Yamagata City where everyone was staying, located across the street from the Nana Beans Building where the Kokeshi Festival was being held. Naoko, the girls and I also attended, and I'll sum it up by saying that a great time was had by all! The amount of food that kept coming to the table seemed endless, and for those who drank alcohol there was a constant flow of beer and sake, helped along by my two sweet young daughters who walked around the room ensuring that everyone's glasses were full. Of course it wouldn't have been a kokeshi party without kokeshis, and all those in attendance received a number and then got a complimentary kokeshi, many created by the very craftsmen sitting in the room with us. It was really a great night and I can't recommend enough attending this event next year.
So, that was the big festival banquet and it was great and in the next blog I'll talk a bit about day two of the festival.
|The entrance to the Yamagata Washington Hotel.|
|A room full of kokeshi makers and kokeshi fans. A good combination.|
|A few speeches were made before dinner. Notice the table to the right of the gentleman standing. Those are the gift kokeshis that everyone received.|
|A special Yamagata-style hot pot. Delicious.|
|Naoko's new kokeshi.|
|Lena's new kokeshis.|
|Emily pouring a beer for Mr. Onuma Hideaki 大沼秀顯さん, a kokeshi maker from Naruko Onsen.|
|Naoko with Ms. Umeki Naomi 梅木直美さん, a kokeshi craftsman from Yamagata.|
|Kokeshi sake, of course.|