Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kokeshi Reborn

If you like wood-crafted Japanese toys and lowbrow art, scamper on over to the Japanese American National Museum in LA by October 4, 2009. Artists offer some great contemporary takes on the simple Japanese classic toy: the Kokeshi doll, originally created during the Edo Period (1600–1868). What is so appropriate about the blending of these two genres is that they both posses adult-themed content encapsulated in child-like packaging. Legend has it that Kokeshi dolls reference the practice of killing unwanted babies just after birth. The characters for this toy are: 子消し, translated as “extinguish the child.” (Yeah, spooooky.)

The show exhibits a collection of traditional and custom dolls, also offering some Kokeshi for sale by over 100 well-known international contemporary artists.

Design your own digital Kokeshi here.

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