Following my little jaunt around Zao (as described in the previous blog entry) we grabbed some breakfast items at a convenience store, checked out of the hotel, and headed down the mountain to Nana Beans in beautiful Yamagata City. Yes, "Nana Beans," the name of the building where the Yamagata Kokeshi Kan (museum) is located and where the Michinoku Kokeshi Festival みちのくこけしまつり is held every year.
|The poster for the kokeshi festival.|
After arriving in the city we easily found parking across the street from Nana Beans and anxiously headed over the festival that had started perhaps an hour earlier. As we entered the building we found a hand-written sign saying the the kokeshi festival was on the 5th floor. So far so good.
|Translated literally: "Kokeshi Festival is 5th Floor."|
When we got to the 5th floor there was a human-sized kokeshi painting on the wall saying that the Yamagata Traditional Kokeshi Kan やまがた伝統こけし館 was also to the right. We took a quick look on our way out of the festival, so I'll talk about that in another blog.
|The reception desk selling pamphlets, books, and posters.|
|The display showing all the types and where they come from.|
|A view looking into the hall. Note the shopping basket that fellow is holding on the left. We saw some people who had filled their basket to the brim.|
|Here's a shot looking back the other way. As this photo shows the hall was quite large and already crowded when we were there.|
|The Craftsmen's Corner.|
|Mr. Abe Kunitoshi 阿部国敏, a Tsuchiyu craftsman famous for his smiley, bobble-headed kokeshis.|
|Mr. Abe's regular Tsuchiyu kokeshis.|
|Mr. Abe's famous smiley kokeshis. Our girls got the red and blue ones on the center right of the photo.|
|Naoko chatting with Mr. Onuma Hideaki 大沼秀顯さん of Naruko Onsen.|
|Mr. Sasamori Jun'ichi 笹森淳一さん, a Tsugaru craftsman from Hirosaki City in Aomori Prefecture.|
|Togatta craftsman Mr. Ogasawara Yoshio 小笠原義雄さん from Sendai City. It might be hard to see but Naoko got me the kokeshi head (actually a hollow bowl and cap) located a little bit left of center. Really a beautiful piece of craftsmanship.|
|Mr. Sugawara Osamu 菅原修さん, a Naruko craftsman from Akita Prefecture. His work is very distinctive and pleasant but also hard to find, so we bought one.|
|Mr. Sugawara's kokeshis.|