Half the fun really can be getting there. It helps to be flying instead of driving long hours. It also helps if you pass through the San Francisco International Airport. They’re just finishing up a wonderful exhibit on Japanese Toys from Kokeshi to Kaiju put on by the San Francisco Museum.
Who knew that toys could be quite so much fun? Because I was simply trying to kill time between flights on my way to Left Coast Crime, the big West Coast annual mystery conference, I happened to walk through Terminal 3 instead of taking the tram. I was completely delighted by the display of all kinds of Japanese toys.
The exhibit had old-style toys that were built during the Meiji period. It had wind-up toys and battery-operated toys and toys modeled off German and U.S. versions.
The most fabulous ones stemmed from Japanese TV, movies, and manga. There were Godzillas and speedmobiles, Ultramen, robots, and superpowers.
I went through the exhibit several times, taking pictures, taking everything in. Then I started people-watching. At first I had assumed the exhibit was for kids, but adults were stopped dead in their tracks at nearly every display. They were scrambling to find their cameras. They were taking pictures of the displays and posters and taking pictures of themselves with those displays. I had to really fight to get a picture with the Hello Kitty dress, for example!
At first I was puzzled as to why there were so many adults happily snapping pictures. Then I finally got it. It wasn’t that they were bored and trying to waste some time between flights. They were enjoying the rare opportunity to look creativity in the face and say, I love you.
Photos by D.R. Ransdell
For more on my mystery writing, please see http://www.drransdellnovels.com