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Kokeshi Doll

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 They were originally made as toys for children of farmers.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!


About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


2 thoughts on “Kokeshi Doll

  1. I have to admit, I don’t really get the connection to Murakami, but I still enjoyed your post. 🙂
    I have a kokeshi doll in a box somewhere, that I got a few years ago, and really should dig it out. Thanks for the reminder.

    Posted by tanabata | April 3, 2010, 2:30 am
    • I must have read somewhere in your March mini-challenge that says something about, watch a movie, or share a recipe, or something about introducing a Japan culture or something.. my apology about the irrelevance!

      So I thought I should dig out the memories of kokeshi doll. Glad you liked it. 🙂

      Posted by JoV | April 3, 2010, 7:55 pm

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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