Folk art "KOKESHI" DOll


 

Today, Japanese kokeshi dolls are categorized in two major groups: traditional ones and creative ones. The former are produced in a traditional way mainly in Tohoku area, or Northern part of Japan mainland, and the latter are made in modern styles by many craftpersons and have full of originality and variety.

 

⇒ more about KOKESHI

 

◆ Traditional Kokeshi ◆ - 伝統こけし -

The traditional kokeshi are produced only in 6 prefectures of Tohoku and are very simple in their designs - consisting of round heads,  cylindrical shape and limbless bodies. The hair is painted on, and sometimes, it only frames the sides of the face. 
The floral and linear patterns that are painted on the kimono are developed specifically in particular regions and are then passed down through generations. The distinctive features of these dolls allows experts to identify exactly where they have been produced (and often, by whom as well). These are in 11 areas, the Tsuchiyu, Yajiro, Togatta, Naruko, Hijiori, Sakunami, Zao, Kijiyama, Nanbu, Yamagata, and Tsugaru.

◆ Creative Kokeshi ◆ - 創作こけし -

These are not designed to look like the traditional kokeshi, they are revamped and modernized to include a lot of designs, richer colors, different facial expressions and hairstyles, as well as the shape of these dols. It is the unrestrained imagination of the artist that allows him to create the doll without any set frame.

The creative Kokeshi have been developing as an art form since the WWII. These dolls are not particular to one region of Japan. While the traditional kokeshi dolls have certain distinctive features that set them apart, the growing popularity of these dolls - usually as a collectible - have ensured that they continue to be in production.


Naruko Kokeshi

Naruko Kokeshi originated from the Naruko hot springs in Miyagi prefecture. One unique feature of these dolls is that it produces a squeaky sound when the head is turned. Skilled artisan carved from a spinning block of wood, and is vividly hand painted. They have gentle features and wider shoulders and skirts. They often exhibit a chrysanthemum motif and a red headdress.

⇒ more about Naruko Kokeshi

A) Kasanegiku

B) Hishigiku

C) Nadeshiko


☆ Naruko Kokeshi 18 cm

Kokeshi Type; Naruko style

Artisan; Seiichi Okazaki

Pattern; A) Kasanegiku (Overlapped chrysanthemums)

                B) Hishigiku (diamond shape chrysanthemum)

                C) Nadeshiko (Dianthus)

 

Handmade wooden doll which squeaks when you twist their heads.

At the bottom of the piece is signed by the artissan Okazaki.

 

● size (approximately)

   height 18 cm, weight 135 g (head) diameter 5 cm / (bottom) diameter 4 cm

● material

   Mizuki (doogwoods) / Itaya (Acer Moho) / Kaede (Maple Tree)

 

*The actual doll you will get is slightly different from pictures on this page due to hand-painting.

 

Naruko Kokeshi - nadeshiko / hishigiku / kasanegiku -

32,40 €

  • Lieferbar innerhalb von 1-3 Werktage *1 / Ships within 1-3 working days *1

Togatta Kokeshi

The Togatta-kokeshi was developed mainly in the Togatta hot-spring village in Zao town, a 70 minute car journey from Sendai city in Miyagi prefecture, and it is located at the foot of “Mt.Zao” a hot-spring town which is also used as a base for many ski areas in these mountains.
The typical trait of a Togatta-kokeshi is a simple silhouette with a slim, straight cylindrical body and large head with narrow eyes.

The top of the head is usually painted red with radial curving lines from the forehead down the side of both cheeks. This pattern is called ‘Tegara.’

☆ Togatta Kokeshi 18 cm

Kokeshi Type; Togatta style

Artisan; Koichi Sakuta

Pattern; Kasanegiku  (Overlapped chrysanthemums)

 

This Togatta Kokeshi has a simple silhouette with a straight body and a biger head. The cool eyes are painted with upper and lower eyelids. The body is painted with cherry blossom motifs. The round face is surrounded by red petals from the forehead to the cheeks.

At the bottom of the piece is signed by the artissan K. Sakuta.

 

● size (approximately)

   height 18 cm, weight 160 g (head) diameter 6,0 cm / (bottom) diameter 4 cm

● material

   Mizuki (doogwoods) / Itaya (Acer Moho) / Kaede (Maple Tree)

 

*The actual doll you will get is slightly different from pictures on this page due to hand-painting.

Togatta Kokeshi Doll - Kasanegiku-

32,40 €

  • Lieferbar innerhalb von 1-3 Werktage *1 / Ships within 1-3 working days *1

Yajiro Kokeshi

Yajiro Kokeshi developed in the Yajiro area which is located in Shiroishi Village. This style of Kokeshi are easily recognizable by their signature waistline and colors. This doll has a dominant yellow base for its body with colorful designs. The top of the head is painted with colorful rings that look like a beret. The wide lines on the body are painted on the lathe, while the designs on the collar and skirt are painted freehand. Perhaps because Yajiro Kokeshi come from the warmest of the Kokeshi-producing regions in Tohoku, they have a bright and open air. 

☆ Yajiro Kokeshi 24 cm

Kokeshi Type; Yajiro style

Artisan; Koichi Sato

Pattern; pine needle on Yellow Kimono

 

The wide lines on the body are painted on the lathe, while the designs on the collar and skirt are painted freehand. They have single-lid eyes and a cat’s nose. This doll has a dominant yellow base for its body with purple, black, blue and red designs.

At the bottom of the piece is signed by the artissan K. Sato.

 

● size (approximately)

   height 24 cm, weight 300 - 320 g / (head) diameter 7,5 cm / (bottom) diameter 5,3 cm

● material

   Mizuki wood (doogwoods) 

 

*The actual doll you will get is slightly different from pictures on this page due to hand-painting.

Yajiro Kokeshi

35,80 €

  • Lieferbar innerhalb von 1-3 Werktage *1 / Ships within 1-3 working days *1

Creative Kokeshi -創作こけし-

1) Hanafubuki

     -flower storm -

[Artisan]   GENJI *1

[size (approximate)]

       Height   13 cm

   diameter   5 cm  

      Weight    110 g  

[Material]    Mizuki wood

2) Hanazakari

     - blooming -

[Artistan]   KEIJI *2

[size (approximate)]

      Height   13 cm

  diameter   6,5 cm 

      Weight  185 g

[Material]   Mizuki wood 

3) MAI

     - folk dancer -

[Artisan]   Tamura Chie *3

[size (approximate)]

       Height   15 cm

   diameter   6,5 cm  

      Weight    150 g  

[Material] 

   head: Chestnut wood 

   body: Mizuki wood 

4) Tsubaki no Sato 

     - camellia village -

[Brand]   Usaburo *4

[size (approximate)]

      Height   15 cm

  diameter   7 cm 

      Weight  255 g

[Material]  

   face: Mizuki wood

   head: Chestnut wood 

   body: Mizuki wood 



5) Haru No Yume  

     - dream of spring -

[Artisan]   Tanaka Kojō *5

[size (approximate)]

      Height   15,5 cm

  diameter   6,5 cm

      Weight  176 g

[Material]   Mizuki wood

 

6) SAKURA

     - cherry blossoms -

[Artisan]   Fujikawa Masae *6

[size (approximate)]

      Height   16 cm

  diameter   7 cm

      Weight  245 g

[Material]   Mizuki wood

* The title name plate is included.

 7) Nobana

     - wildflowers -

[Artisan]   Fujikawa Masae  *6

[size (approximate)] 

      Height   16 cm

  diameter   8 cm 

      Weight   260 g

[Material]    Mizuki wood

* The title name plate is included.

 8) Hanatsumi

     - picking flowers -

[Artisan]   Fujikawa Masae *6

[size (approximate)] 

      Height   16,5 cm

  diameter   8 cm 

      Weight   250 g

[Material]    Mizuki wood

* The title name plate is included.



9) Kinshu

     - dazzling autumn -

[Brand]   Usaburo *4

[size (approximate)]

       Height   15 cm

   diameter   7,5 cm 

      Weight   260 g

[Material]  Mizuki wood 

10) Haru-no-iro

     - colors of spring -

[Brand]   Usaburo *4

[size (approximate)]

       Height   18,5 cm

   diameter   7 cm 

      Weight   335 g

[Material]   face   Mizuki tree

                     head  Chestnut Tree 

                     body  Zelcove tree                

11) Michiyuki 

     -traveling -

[Artisan]   Fujikawa Masae *6

[size (approximate)]

      Height   18,5 cm

  diameter   8 cm 

      Weight   405 g

[Material]    Mizuki wood

* The title name plate is included.


☆ Creative Kokeshi

Art.-No.1) "Hanafubuki" -flower storm - sold out/Ausverkauft

Art.-No.2) "Hanazakari" - blooming - 

Art.-No.3) "MAI" - folk dancer- 

Art.-No.4) "Tsubaki no Sato" - camellia village- 

Art.-No.5) "Haru no Yume" - spring dream - sold out/Ausverkauft

Art.-No.6) "SAKURA" - cherry blossoms -

Art.-No.7) "Nobana" - wildflowers - 

Art.-No.8) "Hanatsumi" - picking flowers - Sold out/Ausverkauft

Art.-No.9) "Kinshu" - dazzling autumn- sold out/Ausverkauft

Art.-No.10) "Haru no Iro" - colors of spring - 

Art.-No.11) "Michiyuki" - traveling - 

 

 *The actual doll you will get is slightly different from pictures on this page due to hand-painting.

Creative Kokeshi

26,00 €

  • Lieferbar innerhalb von 1-3 Werktage *1 / Ships within 1-3 working days *1

◆ Attention ◆

       Kokeshi dolls are made from natural wood and handmade by artisans.

       Though they create the same kokeshi dolls as the product photos, the appearances of them such as colors, shapes, grain, facial  

       expression may be a little different from pictures. Please accept the matter of these slight differences. 

 

 


Artisan & Brand information

*1) GENJI (山田源治 - Ymada Genji)

Kokeshi artist Genji yamada, he received numerous prizes at the awards;

The All Japan Kokeshi Competitions

The Gunma Prefecture Kokeshi Competition

 

*2) KEIJI (三山けいじ - Miyama Keiji)

prize-winning Kokeshi artist, he awarded many prizes at the kokeshi competitions;

The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Award

The All Japan Kokeshi CompetitionThe All Gunma Kokeshi Competition 

 

*3) CHIE (田村千栄 - Tamura Chie)

She is one of the mostrenowned sosaku-creative Kokeshi artists, receiving numerous awards during her career.

*Prize-winning;

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery in 1987

The Minister of International Trade and Industry in 1997

 

*4) USABURŌ (岡本卯三郎 - Usaburo I)

Usaburo I, the founder of Usaburo kokeshi, was born in 1917 in Shinto, Gunma Prefecture, and started kokeshi manufacture in 1950.
Winner of many prizes, including the Prize of the Minister of International Trade and industry. Died in Jul 2009 at the age of 91.

His particular processing technique has redefined the design of traditional kokeshi.
Usaburo also studied the possibiulity of using keyaki and chestnut, trees having beautiful grains, in addition to table dogwood, a commonly used material.
Today, Usaburo Kokeshi can boast 6 award-winning craftsmen, as well as 25 collaborating craftsmen employed in the production of kokeshi dolls. 

 

*5) TANAKA KŌJŌ (田中晃常)

One of the major artists of Kokeshi and has already twice won the Governor of Gunma Prefecture award.

 

*6) Fujikawa Masae (藤川正衛)

Born in Numata, in the prefecture of Gunma in 1942. He studied with master Ishida Kanji, the first president of the "Gunma Kokeshi cooperative association" from 1959 to 1962.Since 1991. Afterward, he opened Fujikawa Craft Corporation. He received many Kokeshi prizes including the Prime Minister's prize in 1996 and 2002, one was for his Kokeshi titled Michi Ko "Rain Child". And also won in his career, the "Minister of Agriculture, forestry and Fishery" in 1995 and 1996.