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Japanese Kokeshi Dolls

Japanese Kokeshi Dolls

Kokeshi Doll are Japanese dolls, originally from northern Japan. They are handmade from wood, have a simple trunk and an enlarged head with a few thin, painted lines to define the face. The body has a floral design painted in red, black, and sometimes yellow, and covered with a layer of wax.

Material and Process

There are many types of woods are used for making Kokeshi dolls, normally, cherry tree for darker colour and mizuki tree for lighter colour, sometimes, maple tree and other trees are also used. The woods for Kokeshi dolls have to be left outdoors to season for one to five years before it can be used.

The process of making kokeshi dolls is not very complex, but needs lots of experience and patience, especially, for the painting work. First, the wood needs to be cut and shaped on a lathe, and polished; the head, hair and body normally are made separately, then are attached together later. The artist then finally paint the face, body and hair