(Image: Ryoji Tamura)
(Image: Asahi Newspaper)
What is Kokeshi doll?
“Kokeshi doll” has simple design of spherical head and cylinder body. There are many people have seen and bought it because Kokeshi dolls are sold in many sightseeing places in Japan.
It is popular among women in Japan, also many people decorate their home with it in overseas. Generally, it has simple spherical head and cylinder body, and face, hairstyle, and kimono (clothes) are drawn on it. Traditional Kokeshi doll’s facial expression, patterns, body shape are different depending on the areas.
What Are Miyagi Traditional Kokeshi Dolls?
Miyagi traditional Kokeshi is the ones made in Miyagi prefecture. There are several distinctive points for Miyagi Kokeshis.
Eventhough Kokeshi doll has very simple design, production technique, as well as shape of the doll, and patterns, are inherited within the family or clan through master to disciple connection. For the reason, every local Kokeshi doll have its own unique shape and pattern inherited within the area/clan/family, even if it has a simple design. Furthermore, there can be various rules to make Kokeshi dolls for representing and protecting their own tradition of lineage.
One of the traditional Kokeshi dolls from three major cradles of Miyagi.
Head is inserted into body, and when you turn the head, it makes “kii-kii” sound. Body’s middle part is little bit thinner and chrysanthemum flowers are drawn on the body, generally.
(Image: FC2 blog)
Another one of the traditional Kokeshi dolls from three major cradles of Miyagi.
Distinct feature of Togatta type is that it has slender thin eyes and narrow shoulder body. Generally, body has drawn patterns of flowers, such as chrysanthemums and plums, on top of each other’s. It is said that Togatta series is the most beautiful doll in terms of splendor because its ornate pattern is very distinctive.
– – Sakunami Type
Yajiro type’ feature is that it has multicolor pattern on head like wearing beret. Also, body has constriction in the middle like neck.
– Yajiro Type
(Image: amana images)
Distinct feature of this type is that it has slender thin eyes and narrow shoulder body.
It has been said that Sakunami type is developed based on inherited technique from Togatta type. So, it has lot of flower pattern of chrysanthemums and plums on top of each other’s.
– Other Types
(Image: Yahoo! shopping)
Beside those types, there are newly created Kokeshi dolls, “Kokeshi doll” and crafted “Creative Kokeshi”, which are made in modern times, and they are being sold in sightseeing places over the nation.
Currently, Kokeshi doll is popular as not only a souvenir use, but also an interior. Some people collects Kokeshi doll from each area to feel differences as a hobby. It is increasing number of Kokeshi doll with expression of gentle and pretty, so that it might be tickling heart and mind of the purchasers.
The amazing attraction of Kokeshi doll is that family or clan’s culture and uniqueness poured into design through the making process. In other words, we can feel and see uniqueness of clan tradition in each Kokeshi doll. So, it would be great interior to feel many different cultures in our home. Because its size is not big, it is easy to collect and decorate many of them. Another good point as a souvenir is that it can be gifted to all people from child to adults because it has lot of types. There is no doubt that gorgeous small interior or toy can bring more joy and happiness to our home.