Way back in April 2012 -- almost 3.5 years ago -- we went to an important kokeshi location in the Togatta Onsen 遠刈田温泉 region of Miyagi Prefecture that I never posted a blog about. It was part of an early but significant kokeshi adventure in Sendai when we were searching for Togatta kokeshis 遠刈田系こけし, and in retrospect I'm sorry that I didn't do the post. Better late than never I suppose.
|The sign says "Kokeshi Road" こけしの道 which connects the Miyagi-Zao Kokeshi Kan with the Kokeshi Village.|
Up the hill behind the fantastic Miyagi-Zao Kokeshi Kan 宮城蔵王こけし館 that everyone needs to visit (click here to see the 29 April 2012 post) is something called the Kokeshi Village こけしの里. You can either drive there, or better, walk through the woods on the "Kokeshi Road" こけしの道 up the hill from the Kokeshi Kan. Wow! Like entering a kind of kokeshi land, right? Well, maybe. I've always tried to remain as positive as possible in this blog, but the Kokeshi Village was weird and, frankly, disappointing. Let me try to explain.
|One of the kokeshi maker's house and workshop that was no longer active.|
From what I can tell Miyagi Prefecture developed this area a while ago as a kind of kokeshi artisans' colony, and since there is parking for buses it must have been done as an economic development project too. In theory the Kokeshi Village was good idea since it preserves a traditional art (which is important to Miyagi Prefecture's identity) and at the same time makes it easy for tourists to visit many craftsmen all at once. The year 2012 was definitely not its heyday, but we can hope it has come back to life since our visit three years ago. After all, the village has shop after shop that should be a fantastic experience for us enthusiasts. Here are some photos of the various craftsmen's signs that line the street.
|The Sato's workshop was open for business.|