Thursday, May 6, 2010

dolls in the house

Yesterday I went with a bunch of other BST moms (mums) to the Heiwajima Antique Fair in Ota-ku and brought home these Kokeshi, traditional Japanese wooden dolls from northern Honshu. The craft dates back to the late Edo period (1800-1830); no idea how old these ones are... The lady who sold them to me (she had several big buckets full and I prolly spent 15 minutes rummaging) kept saying they were 200 years old, but I'm pretty sure she meant that's when the craft began.
Here's my little group of 7, standing around in our living room, between a window and the TV. Not sure where they will land. For now they will stare at Terry while he plays Xbox games. The smallest one is 16 cm high, the tallest, 25 cm. (Sorry, the only ruler I have handy doesn't mark inches. We're all metric system now!)

Fwiw, the fair -- official Japanese name: Heiwajima Zenkoku Komingu Kotto Matsuri -- happens over a few days, four times a year; there was one back in March, and there will be another one in June and again in December. Some 200 dealers participate, and they have prints, pottery, kimono and yukata robes, laquerware, jewelry, knickknacks, small furniture and other collectibles. I also bought a series of matchbox covers from the 1930s, two fans and two tiny plates cheap enough to actually use. There were loads of pretty teacups and things with pricetags in the tens of thousands of yen range (hundreds of U.S. dollars! apiece!) obviously intended to be kept on a shelf, or locked in a china cabinet. Very old, I'm sure, hand-painted, etc. etc., just not my thing...Anyway for those who might want to check out the next one, it took less than half an hour for my friend Karen to drive us there from the Shibuya area; it's not far from the Shinagawa aquarium and it's right by Heiwa no Mori Koen, a big park with a cool obstacle course that I really need to take my boys to sometime...

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