My goodness, was it three weeks ago already? For those who may not know, Batsu is a freelance translator. I like it, really; but on occasion I get sucked into the void for days (weeks?) at a time, a mere shadow of my former self, soiled and sullen before the luminescent screen. Then the project is complete, the deadline is met, and I have a couple weeks off. Hooray!
Ah, yes, so the weeks have passed since I visited i-doll 26. I-doll is one of the few recurring doll events in Japan – along with Doll Show (Tokyo only), Dolls Party (Volks sponsored/only), and the recent Dolls in Wonderland (held by second hand shop Mandarake). At at most of these events you can find many dolls and doll related items – apparel, accessories, foods, furnishings, hand-made articles, and so on from the many independent and professional dealers. They are packed tightly into rows upon rows and sometimes spread across many floors of the convention hall.
On this particular day, I was on a mission to find buttons. As I usually go in trying to pitch a story, negotiate an interview, or traipse the boundaries of trust just to snap a photo, the scene was quite refreshing. I didn’t many get many good photos, but walked away with a world of buttons. Good friend Shikaku was also in attendance and all googly-eyed over pretty much everything; it seems I even missed dealers I was looking for. But never matter – did I mention I purchased a world of buttons?
There were of course many cute dolls in various cute dresses. The majority of these being sold by girls decked in lolita-style fashions. However, the newest accessory for these eternally young maidens would seem to be their own children. I think this was the first time I’ve ever seen such a frilly dress paired with a baby harness; not one, indeed the vast majority seemed to sport this new look. One table had a living doll dressed like the models for sale – though she was a bit older, maybe 2.
My purchases, aside from the buttons, included a summer SD dress, a doll-sized whiskey rocks, a tiny rabbit for a tiny Alice, and some hangers for my daughter’s increasing wardrobe. I also managed to meet an artist who had an exhibition at Angel Dolls last year – but she somewhat incomprehensibly (?) refused to acknowledge that I was familiar with her work until Shikaku intervened and therefore receives no further mention.
We finished the day at Pinafore, which was great despite, or perhaps due to, the presence of numerous customers from my former maiden days. I took great relish in drinking beer in front of them (a big no-no!), but felt a bit awkward at first, admittedly. Even after such a short stint, going to a maid cafe will never be the same.