Wednesday, September 30, 2015
This 'ejiko' baby kokeshi is based on traditional baby baskets of northern Japan. These were used so the baby could be left safely while you were working in the fields nearby. They were filled with straw and sometimes ash which could be easily cleaned out. There seems to have been quite a variety and some were actually wooden buckets. Kokeshi also come from northern Japanese so ejiko kokeshi are fairly common though I haven't seen another one with a natural wood finish like this.
Monday, September 28, 2015
Something a little different.... a map of the Tokyo Peace Commemorative Exhibition at Ueno Park in 1922. The advertisement in the top right hand corner is for the Hananoka brewery that was founded in 1902 and still sells sake with the same logo.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Monday, September 21, 2015
I'm researching some old prints and posters before I put them in the shop. This is an old Mitsubishi shipping agent's wood block printed poster that I think dates from between 1873 (when the Mitsubishi name was adopted) and 1885 (when it merged with another company to become the NYK line) . The red panel shows the names of all their ships. Prints in this period had become very bright as new inks were introduced from the west. This red (or even brighter) is typical of Meiji period prints of the late 19th century.