Beautiful Japan

Archive for December, 2011


Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

I visited Japan for a short time in early December.

It was my first visit since the March earthquake. My family and friends were telling me that everything is back to normal, but I couldn’t feel it till I actually got there.

As soon as I stepped out of the airplane, my jeans started feeling sticky from humidity. And the distinctive ” smell” in the air made me feel ” I am in Japan now”.
I mainly stayed in the Osaka area ( about 250 miles south of Tokyo). I also visited Kyoto, Kobe, and Fukui to meet my friends.
Kyoto was still in late fall foliage season, and I was able to enjoy the true beauty of ancient Japan. Kyoto has more than 1000 years of history and survived through numerous numbers of natural disasters and wars.
I have been to Kyoto many times but this time I felt so special and fortunate to be able to visit this historical city still standing like nothing happened. Everything looks the same from hundreds of years ago, and it’s a sort of miracle since Japan is earthquake country.
Back in 2009 I visited Palmira who is a well known antique doll collector in Japan . She was extremely kind to invite me to her house again this time, and I was once more in doll heaven.
Palmira and her husband Mr.Yamazaki have a fabulous collection of antique dolls. Their living room is literally “full” of rare and beautiful dolls that I only had seen in books and doll shows.
To be able to see actual dolls in person and study them means so much to me. Pictures do not always show the true color of dolls and only show a certain angle of the face.
I feel lucky if I can find a picture of the back side of the doll or inside the dress. In order to make an authentic look in reproduction dolls, I need to know how they are constructed, color and texture of bisque, dimension of the sculpting of the face. I can get this information only by seeing the actual dolls. Visiting Palmira’s house alone was worth flying to Japan for me. I can not thank Palmira and Mr.Yamazaki enough for letting me visit them again.
You can view more fabulous Yamazaki doll collections from here.
I feel so relieved to know that most parts of Japan are recovering quickly. Many people I talked to are concerned about their future, especially for the next generation because of radiation pollution from the nuclear plant.
The sad part is, that is not visible and will take time to see the actual effects. It is very frightening not knowing what is going to happen in the future but one can’t continue to worry about it all the time. Everyone seems to be trying to enjoy the life they have today instead of worrying about an uncertain future.
It is Japanese tradition to visit a shrine on New Years Day to make a wish for the coming year.
I am sure we will all be wishing for the same thing this time ( including me ) .



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