Saturday, March 15, 2014

Kokeshi Event in Tachikawa Station 立川駅でのこけしイベント

Yesterday I was passing through the Tachikawa train station when I glanced over and noticed a bunch of traditional kokeshis! I couldn't believe it -- it was like a bunch of old friends were greeting me. It turned out that a bookstore within the concourse to the train platforms had a large-scale kokeshi display set up by an organization or company called Paper Wall. I had to catch a train and didn't have much time, but the nice ladies at the shop said I could take some pictures so I managed to get a few shots as you'll see below. I also bought one kokeshi that I'll talk about in the next blog entry. 
Here's the shop. That group of women milling around the entrance are looking at part of the kokeshi display.
With this poster display there was no doubt I was in kokeshi territory. Everything was lovingly done.
Some of the kokeshis for sale. It was a top-notch collection.
Another view. There were even some Hina Kokeshis (girls day).
Although there were many different kinds on display, I would say that the majority of the kokeshis were Tsugarus 津軽系.
For some reason these were behind glass. I wasn't sure why.
There were also plenty of kokeshi goods available.
Wooden tableware with little tiny kokeshi heads on them. I believe I've met this craftsman before, and that his workshop is in Tokyo.
More kokeshis and goods. The ones wearing clothes are Nambu kokeshis 南部系こけし.
Another angle showing the display in the front entry containing books and kokeshis. I had to fight to get a good view -- it was very popular.
So that was the Tachikawa Station's Paper Wall kokeshi fair. It started back in February and ends on March 16th, so one more day at the time I'm writing this. I wish I would have gotten to see it earlier -- Paper Wall did a great job with the display, and I can tell that they genuinely love the graphic design side of kokeshis. I also asked the ladies in the shop how the kokeshi fair had been going and they said it was very successful and "lively." That was good to hear.

As noted above, I did purchase a kokeshi and when I got home I found these three pamphlets in my bag. There were two from the Tsugaru Kokeshikan 津軽こけし館 up in Kuroishi City in Aomori Prefecture, so I suspect they participated in this event. The third pamphlet (the small dark blue one in the photo) was really quite nice, giving an introductory lesson view hand-drawings about the different traditional kokeshi families. 

This was a really pleasant and unexpected kokeshi adventure. I'm sorry the event is ending so soon, but if anyone reads this and can get to Tachikawa by March 16th, it is highly recommended.

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