A quick blog entry to let fellow international kokeshi enthusiasts living outside of Japan know that the 61st annual National Kokeshi Festival 全国こけし祭り at Naruko Onsen 鳴子温泉 in Miyagi Prefecture is scheduled for September 4th, 5th and 6th 2015. This is the biggest and longest running kokeshi festival and I cannot recommend it enough. We went last year and it was fantastic. Six craftsmen are scheduled to attend this year, plus there will be thousands of kokeshis and other wooden crafts for sale along with hundreds (thousands?) of fellow kokeshi lovers, plus there's the annual kokeshi competition, the giant kokeshi parade, a kokeshi forum, and so forth. If you are going to be in Japan in early September then definitely try to work this into your itinerary!
Click here to see the festival web site, which is mostly in Japanese but fun to see anyway. The National Kokeshi Festival also has its own Facebook page (click here) that not only provides updates but also has numerous photos of kokeshi craftsmen and ongoing local kokeshi events up in Tohoku. It almost makes me want to join Facebook!
|Festival poster -- click to see full size.|