Pattern For And Old Fashion Dress For A Barbie Party History of Kokeshi Wooden Dolls from Japan

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History of Kokeshi Wooden Dolls from Japan

Little is known about the early history Japanese Kokeshi Wooden Dolls. One school of thought believes that Kokeshi dolls have their origins in spiritualist religious practice. Wooden coffins were thought to contain the spiritual essence of the dead and were often erected to commemorate the honor.

The modern history of Japanese Kokeshi dolls began in the latter part of the Edo Era (1603-1867). Kokeshi Dolls from the Tohiku region of northern Japan, famous for its hot springs and refreshing spa waters, are an important source of additional income for local artisans known as Kijiya (which means forest in Japanese). who specializes in woodworking. production of household goods such as wooden trays and bowls. During the harsh winters these Kijiya artisans started making “Kokeshi Dogs” to sell as souvenirs to visitors visiting the local hot springs. The dolls are not only used as souvenirs, but also as massage tools used by bathers to rub on their shoulders while enjoying the benefits of the hot springs.

Kokeshi dolls were very simple in design, originally made by hand on laths. Traditional Kokeshi dolls had common features consisting of a basic body without legs and a round head. Although the first flowers were not painted, today most Kokeshi are painted with bright floral designs, kimonos, and other traditional patterns. The colors used were red, yellow and purple. Since all dolls are hand painted, no two faces are alike. This is perhaps the greatest beauty of Kokeshi. Some dolls are cheerful, happy and smiling, while others are serious.

Their popularity soon spread throughout Japan and they became popular as wooden toys for those who could not afford porcelain dolls. Additionally, the simple round shapes of the dolls lend themselves as early teething rings to babies.

Kokeshi dolls traditionally represented young girls and they quickly became popular for promoting women’s beauty. Furthermore, their simple charm and association with childhood meant that they were often given as gifts when a child was born, as birthday presents or as memorial symbols when a child died. In addition, Japanese Kokeshi Wooden Dolls were popular among farmers’ children as they were generally thought to promise a good harvest, as it was believed that if children played with the dolls, the gods would have a positive effect.

The woods used for Kokeshi vary. Cherry is distinguished by its darkness. Mizuko or dogwood is softer and widely used. Itaya-kaede, a Japanese pattern is also used. The wood is left outside to season for one to five years before it is used to make wood. Today, Kokeshi is recognized as one of the most traditional Japanese arts.

Despite their common characteristics, there are two schools of design, Kokeshi Traditional and Kokeshi Creative.

Traditional kokeshi for the main part are still only produced in six prefectures of the Tohoku region. The twelve design schools here all display distinctive characteristics that allow experts to tell exactly where they were produced and often by whom.

Kokeshi Creative does not follow the traditional designs that originated in the Tohoku region and instead has an unstructured inspiration that is completely free in terms of shape and painting, the only traditional constraint being making them through the beam. Unlike traditional koshis, they do not reflect their distinctive regional color or techniques passed down through the generations. They simply represent the creative thought and ability of the artist.

Traditional and creative handmade dolls have become a cause for celebration in Tohoku and throughout Japan. Every year, in early September, people gather at Naruko Onsen, where artisans from all over the nation gather to honor the Kokeshi in a competition where the number one prize is the Prime Minister’s Award.

There are many different Kokeshi styles, but there is one philosophy that all Kokeshi dolls share, which is to achieve beauty and artistry through simplicity. This philosophy is promoted in the website: http://www.dollsofjapan.co.uk

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