Friday, April 25, 2014

Kokeshi Wiki

On 17 April 2014 a new and important kokeshi-related resource appeared on the Internet: Kokeshi Wiki (click to view site). It is Japanese-language only, but there are plenty of images to look at for those who do not read Japanese. Here is a screen capture.
As the name suggests, Kokeshi Wiki is an on-line encyclopedia based on the 1971 Kokeshi Dictionary こけし辞典, covering the world of traditional kokeshis, including craftsmen (active, retired, and deceased), history, regions, materials, areas or research, literature, folkways, and even tools. While I haven't gone through everything, it is a serious effort that is clearly meant to be academic and authoritative. The site is brand new and is still a work in progress, but it's already an excellent resource and will become more so as it gets filled in. Although it's not an open wiki, I'm sure in the coming months kokeshi experts out there will be adding a lot of materials and information in order to make it the Wikipedia of the traditional kokeshi world. I will definitely be using this site as a key resource to compliment the books we have on kokeshis, and look forward to seeing how it progresses in the future.

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