Friday, June 22, 2007
Shiba Wanko Books
I bought 2 of these books on EBay (where else!), and they are just gorgeous. These days I am quite obsessed with Shiba Inu puppies, and just could not resist to them. Since I cannot have the real pups, why not the books at least? And it can also help me to start drawing again, since it's very much the style I love, very colourful and detailed.
Hannari-Ya is the lovely Seller. I like buying from them because everything arrives super-fast and they have a great collection of Japanese goodies.
Well the 1st book in the series is called Wa no Kokoro, and explains the traditions and customs related to each season and holiday in Japan, from Tanabata to the Hanami season, and also how to hold chopsticks or to pray in a shrine, for example. The main characters are Shiba Wanko and his little kitty friend, Miike Nyanko, who introduce us to a typical day in the country and all its symbols and rich cultural background.
The 2nd one, Wa no Kokoro 2, demonstrates how to wear a kimono, and explains about Hina Matsuri (Girls Festival) and the traditional Kabuki theatre, among other customs. It also describes how to make incense for the Summer days, and how pleasant it must be to savour the colourful and exquisite wagashi (sweets). Ahhhh, that makes me think of Minamoto Kitchoan's delicacies... How I miss it!
The books are all in Japanese, no translation so far (let's hope!). However, the illustrations are so detailed that you don't even need a text to know (more or less!) what is going on, or what the meanings of such and such tradition or celebration may be. Of course, if you are already familiar with some aspects of Japanese culture it gets easier since you can recognise what it's all about. Otherwise, just don't worry, but relax and enjoy the lovely pictures. Not to be missed!