Vintage Wooden Kokeshi Doll - Black and Red - Medium - Common Thread Style
Vintage Wooden Kokeshi Doll - Black and Red - Medium - Common Thread Style
Vintage Wooden Kokeshi Doll - Black and Red - Medium - Common Thread Style
Vintage Wooden Kokeshi Doll - Black and Red - Medium - Common Thread Style
Vintage Wooden Kokeshi Doll - Black and Red - Medium - Common Thread Style
Vintage Wooden Kokeshi Doll - Black and Red - Medium - Common Thread Style
Vintage Wooden Kokeshi Doll - Black and Red - Medium - Common Thread Style
Vintage Wooden Kokeshi Doll - Black and Red - Medium - Common Thread Style
Vintage Wooden Kokeshi Doll - Black and Red - Medium - Common Thread Style
Vintage Wooden Kokeshi Doll - Black and Red - Medium - Common Thread Style

Vintage Wooden Kokeshi Doll - Black and Red - Medium

Regular price $60.00
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Since World War II, Japanese kokeshi dolls have become tremendously popular. Kokeshi dolls are characterized by their lack of arms and legs, as well as their brightly painted garb in floral designs and geometric patterns. The process used for making these cylindrical wooden dolls is not unlike that employed to make legs for chairs or tables.

It’s likely that kokeshi originated in rural Tohoku, in northeast Japan, during the Bunka-Bunsei eras (1804-29) of the Edo Period. The farmers there, coping with long, snowbound winter nights, probably made the dolls from scraps of maple, dogwood, or magnolia using a pulley lathe. These dolls were possibly intended as good luck talisman, designed to bring fertility or bountiful harvests. Later, they were sold to tourists at Tohoku spas, and also given to console mothers who had lost a child through miscarriage or other misfortune.

Eventually, the kokeshi—made in 5-, 7-, and 10-inch sizes—became a toy for children’s play. It wasn’t until the 1920s that adults began to value these Japanese dolls as collector’s items. This renewed interest in kokeshi encouraged artisans to produce them in a much wider variety of sizes, from itty-bitty to huge.

After the war, when the U.S. occupied Japan, the wives and girlfriends of U.S. soldiers were particularly attracted to the cuteness of the kokeshi. Woodturners near Tokyo, having moved from kick lathes to mechanical ones, began churning them out for Westerners visiting tourist sites all over the island nation. These turners got creative with the form, making kokeshi in non-traditional shapes. They made “tochigi,” or kokeshi-headed toothpicks, and replicas of the Seven Lucky Gods clad in wild get-ups.

Collectors favour dolls with facial features applied with a calligraphy brush and an eye-pleasing balance of colour that doesn’t appear too faded.

Dimensions:

Height: 21cm

Diameter of Head: 6.5cm.

Diameter of Base: 4.5cm

This beautiful piece would look lovely displayed on your bookcase, sideboard, or children's bedroom.

Kimberley and Georgina xx