|Evans and Wolf's book -- a work of art.|
|A page from Evans and Wolf.|
|Another page from Evans and Wolf.|
The Japanese-language book on kokeshis that everyone ought to have -- Japanese and foreigners alike -- is Cochae's (A collaborative name) work from 2008 entitled こけし (Kokeshi) in Japanese, or Kokeshi Book in English. The book covers the eleven traditional kokeshi families from Tohoku, as well as ephemera and kokeshi goods. No modern kokeshis here! Alas, for those who don't read Japanese there is little English in it, but then, why not use it to practice reading Japanese? The book's photography, design, and eye for humor will be evident to everyone, and in fact it's as much a book on design and color as it is about kokeshis. Tellingly, when I've seen this work in bookstores it's been in the graphic design section rather than in the art or traditional crafts sections. Kokeshi Book is a must have for anyone interested in kokeshis, and for only 1,680 yen it's a bargain.
|Cover of Kokeshi Book. That's a Tsugaru kokeshi on the cover by the way.|
|A random page from Kokeshi Book. Most photos focus on the intrinsic whimsicalness of traditional kokeshis.|
|Traditional Arts: Tohoku Kokeshi cover.|
|Random pages from the book.|
|Close up of a page from Traditional Arts: Tohoku Kokeshi.|
Anyone who has read other posts on this blog knows that Naoko and I get a great deal of pleasure out of visiting kokeshi makers at their workshops -- that's the adventure part. The following two books are fantastic handbooks for helping to find out precisely where those workshops are located. I suppose the downside to these books has been finding that many of the kokeshi makers up in Tohoku are in their 80s or more, and possibly have already gone on to the next world. But still, these books should be very useful for anyone embarking on a serious kokeshi adventure!
|Newest Record of Kokeshi Makers, 2003. A friend loaned this to us -- I don't know if it's still available.|
|A page from Newest Record of Kokeshi Makers.|
|A True Record of Kokeshi Makers, 2005. Also on loan to us. We'll have to get our own copy.|
|A page from A True Record of Kokeshi Makers.|