Of all the places in the world I have yet to visit on my bucket-list, Japan is right up there.
This may have a whole lot to do with my many re-readings of Haruki Murakami novels, which are surely more of a surreal parallel to the Japan that exists in reality, but since I was a teenager, his is the country I imagine. And he loves cats, so he's clearly pretty awesome.
It could also have a lot to do with a lifelong love of Hello Kitty, and my not-so-secret dream to visit Sanrio Land. I also think it would be rather jolly to find me a Totoro and sit on a strawberry-shaped bus-stop. Probably my heart would explode with happiness and I'd need a hug from Keropi to calm me down.
When I finally manage to save my pennies enough for a plane ticket, I would love, most of all, to see Japan in spring. In my mind, I cannot think of anything more beautiful than rows upon rows of cherry-blossom trees in full bloom. This little geisha seems to think the same, as she takes a leisurely promenade through the old city one spring morning.
There were a lot of things that inspired me stylistically with Sora, my little geisha. I am always fascinated to find those stylised, hand painted vintage postcards from Asia in the early 1900's. I know they were terribly unrealistic and manufactured mainly for tourists, but the geisha of yore are so compelling with their quiet, sweet faces and painted lips.
Like my other girls, Sora is super-stylin'. I was lucky enough one Christmas to get a pack of kimono fabric from my excellent Auntie and Uncle, and I discovered that even in the plainest of patterns, it is incredible: heavy, and lush and so elegant. You might also notice that her okobo are a little like Dutch clogs; I really enjoyed playing with very heavy, pear-shaped forms in this picture.
Traditionally, I know geisha spend many hours painstakingly styling their hair into impossible up-do's, but Sora is still quite young, and a little mischievous- the breeze is having a grand time ruffling her hair, and very soon, if it's keeps blowing about like that, I imagine her hair will soon be full of cherry-blossom petals!
Hope you enjoy my little Sora as much as I did creating her x