On Girls Day Festival in Japan, which falls on March 3, each family places emperor and empress dolls on the top tier on a stand with court ministers on the second tier. The exquisite "ningyo" (doll) of wood and silk with paint of crushed oyster shells (shown here) was fashioned after a minister of the time; today it is priced at $225.
All this information comes from Jake Costello, a man who lived in Kyoto for the past 21 years and collected such antiques. He and his wife, Yuko, are opening their shop in Nevada City on Saturday, Aug. 18, through Aug. 26 for a show and sale of baskets, kimonos, chests, vases, scrolls and many more such lovely items with much Japanese history behind them. The couple does this twice a year.
"Shopping for Japanese antiques presents intriguing and challenging opportunities," says Costello. "Not only was this collection put together for its beauty and artistic value but also with an eye as to how these various objects could be transformed and used in a Western home and garden. It presents quite an avenue for the inventive person to be creative because more likely than not, these Japanese artifacts will be used in a different role that the originally intended function."
A saké jug, for example, could become a lamp; an old storehouse wooden door could become an usual coffee table. An embroidered obi (the wide belt that cinches in the kimono) could adorn a table or wall.
Kodo Arts Japanese Antiques is located at 571 Searls Ave. The show/sale will continue daily, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., for the nine days; after hours by appointment. Call Costello at (530) 478-0812 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Go online at www.kodo-arts.com.
(Editor's note: All things Japanese seen to be converging on Nevada City, as the same day this art/antique show closes - Sunday, Aug. 26 - CATS has its Japanese comedy show at Nevada Theatre. There will be two shows that day: one at 2 p.m., the other at 7 p.m. Contact CATS at www.catsweb.org for more information and tickets.)