This week's news from:
These beautiful dolls come from Tōhoku Girls, an exhibit on kokeshi dolls currently showing at the SieboldHuis in Leiden. These wooden dolls have been lovingly handcrafted for two centuries in a part of Japan known for its forests and mountains, volcanoes and hot springs.
According to the exhibit curator:
"Traditional kokeshi are always girls, their arms and feet only to be imagined under their painted clothes. No limbs because they were then easier to make on the lathe; all girls because girls, in the past, played with dolls."
The half-closed eyes on these dolls are meant to express laughter. Can you hear them giggling? They look like schoolgirls to me, the little one complete in her green tartan school uniform.
School is on my mind these days. The schooling denied to curious minds like Song Anyi in The Dancing Girl and the Turtle. Or merely ignored as my paternal grandmother did, preferring perhaps to play with her own dolls. This week's blog post looks at female education, public versus private, elite versus common, the legacy of an Old Shanghai academy for the daughters of the elite: McTyeire's School for Girls.
Notwithstanding the hiccup revealed in that blog post, work continues apace on Peace Court. As does the relentless flogging of The Dancing Girl and the Turtle. Have you rated this novel yet on Goodreads or Amazon?
Super supporter Beth Johnson has included my novel in her list (in Dutch) of summer reads. She'll also be hosting me at Forum van Rossum. Thank you Beth!
See you there?