Iconic souvenir, Kokeshi dolls from Japan
December 19, 2011 1:32 PM Subscribe
Kokeshi Dolls originated in North-East Japan as wooden toys for children. They began being produced towards the end of the Edo period (1603~1868) by woodwork artisans, called Kiji-shi, who normally made bowls, trays and other tableware by using a lathe. They began to make small dolls in the winter to sell to visitors who came to bathe in the many hot springs near their villages, which was believed to be a cure for the demands of a strenuous agricultural lifestyle.
posted by nickyskye (20 comments total)
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Kokeshi dolls are one of those iconic Japanese souvenirs, now considered folk art, bought both by the Japanese and by foreigners. They are considered to be mementos and talismans, protection symbols.
> The Mizuki wood often used to make the kokeshi doll's head, translates as "water tree". It is a very moist wood and some Japanese believe that having a kokeshi in their home helps prevent fire.
They come in a variety of designs
as well as regional looks
The Tohoku Region
, where the Kokeshi dolls originated is also where this year's terrible earthquake and tsunami had the most terrible impact.
History of the name
More about the making of Kokeshi dolls
Collections of vintage Kokeshi dolls
and on Collectors Weekly
Vintage Kokeshi doll on Etsy
At the Kokeshi Museum