Sunday, 13 October 2013

kokeshi jidai

Back in Japan finally! It's Autumn and so beautiful, will be running around Kyoto, Osaka etc and hopefully get a few days to chill out at the end of my trip.

I dont know how much upcoming kawaii book news I will have as that initial post release frenzy is over, but the kokeshi book will be available on amazon soon, as well as several international book stores and will hopefully do some talk events based on that, and kawaii culture, fingers crossed. It is nice to see that little book crawling its way up amazon rankings, it is in the top 15 for Japan travel books and number one for wooden toys as well as wood crafst on which is nice.

Having said that, there is nothing like going to a bookstore to buy books, especially speciality, niche specific book stores.  I am not a neo-luddite and use amazon as much as anyone else, and in HK miss that instantaneous service that you get in Tokyo,  but going into a bookstore which is curated in a way that makes it almost like a gallery is suuuch a luxury. Hopefully not a dying luxury. Tsutaya Daikanyama even has staff called "concierges" who have had previous jobs that make them experts in certain fields like music and cooking. Some speciality bookstores will remember your tastes and call if a book comes in that you may like -- completely tailored service. Some people might think bookstores are expensive but it is worth the extra dollars and it isnt that bookstores are expensive, it is that amazon is cheap. If you are looking for a book and it is available at a speciality book store, it is SO worth it to buy from there, especially if you have questions.

KOKESHKA in Kamakura is one such store, their shop is in the kawaii book. Everything there is produced or otherwise curated by cult photographer and poet Genqui Numata. They also produce a mag, (which is more like a book) called Kokeshi jidai. It has absolutely top class design, photography, contents, has a lot of archival material, information on onsen and Tohoku culture, it has to be one of the best magazines in Japan. If you like vintage, or retro style design, it will be right up your tree. Numata is a very well known photographer but asides from that, he is probably the most prolific documentarian of Tohoku rural culture and one of the main cogs responsible for the current kokeshi boom.

Asides from that, the shop is adorable and is the only place I know of that you can buy Tohoku kokeshi without actually going to Tohoku, as well as Matroyshka dolls and a hybrid of the two designed in house.
google "kokeshka kamakura" and check it out next time you are in kamakura.

Thanks for everything, love the mags, and hopefully see you soon! m(_  _)m

PS if you are in tokyo there is a kokeshi event in Koenju 26 at Studio K 1F.