On my 15th birthday (that was a very long long time ago, somewhere in the mid-80’s), my friend made a Kokeshi doll bookmark for me which I kept for a long time. Ever since I moved to the UK, the bookmark is buried somewhere amongst all the big boxes I left behind at my parent’s house, she also made a kokeshi dolls out of ping-pong ball. It was very pretty and was a cherished memory of mine.
For Tanabata’s (In Spring it is the Dawn) March Mini-Challenge I have decided to feature the Kokeshi Doll.
These Kokeshi dolls have been made for 150 years, and are from Northern Honshū, the main island of Japan. They were originally made as toys for children of farmers. They have no arms or legs, but a large head and cylindrical body, representing little girls. From a simple toy, it has now become a famous Japanese craft, and now an established souvenir for tourists.
Ichimatsu dolls (市松人形) represent little girls or boys, correctly proportioned and usually with flesh-colored skin and glass eyes. The original Ichimatsu were named after an 18th-century Kabuki actor, and must have represented an adult man, but since the late 19th century the term has applied to child dolls, usually made to hold in the arms, dress, and pose (either with elaborately made joints or with floppy cloth upper arms and thighs). Baby boy dolls with mischievous expressions were most popular in the late 19th and early 20th century.
A mini-introduction is featured in the video:
I have also found some craft network in youtube that demo steps to design Kokeshi doll’s card, I just didn’t think it was that fantastic, I think you could do better. But do check out some videos which shows you how the Kokeshi dolls are made in the factories. I simply adore them, as they are so, so lovable and cute!