Sunday, July 5, 2015

San Francisco Kokeshi サンフランシスコのこけし

Well, it's been about seven months since my last post. As some of you know Naoko, the girls and I have moved permanently to the Bay Area in beautiful northern California. Because of this transition I had to put Kokeshi Adventures on hold, but now it's back. I will no longer be able to provide first-hand reports on kokeshi events, and we certainly won't be visiting any craftsmen until returning to Japan on vacation sometime in the future, but I think I have enough materials and information to keep the blog going for awhile despite being in America. I will say that we miss our all of the friends we've made in the kokeshi world, and taking a short trip to Tohoku right now would be delightful. On the other hand although there is a complete lack of kokeshis here, northern California is a wonderful part of the world that everyone should visit. On top of that we now have a chance to directly teach Americans about the amazing world of our favorite wooden dolls.
Naoko, kokeshi and San Francisco.
Along those lines I thought it would be fun to bring a kokeshi along on our visit to San Francisco yesterday. While there are undoubtedly traditional kokeshis in private collections here, I'm pretty sure this is the first time anyone has photographed one with San Francisco scenes in the background.
Fisherman's Wharf -- a famous tourist spot and now popular with kokeshis. 
The kokeshi that joined us is a black and white Naruko type 鳴子系こけし by Mr. Onuma Hideaki 大沼秀顯さん whom we've met a few times at festivals and other kokeshi events. I love his work, and there were no problems as this kokeshi fit in perfectly in good old San Francisco!
Naruko kokeshi in front of In-N-Out, a famous California burger chain. 
Down on the bay with a ship museum in the background.
Kokeshi and a cable car.
At the old Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory.
We had a great day in San Francisco, and I'm pleased that I thought to bring along Mr. Onuma's kokeshi. So, where will we see a kokeshi pop up next?

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