The traditional form can be enjoyed as a modern interior. Adorable "Naruko Kokeshi"
Kokeshi is a traditional doll toy which has been handed down since the middle of the Edo period in the Tohoku region, and there are also many collectors fascinated by its lovely expression and various shapes. Especially "Naruko Kokeshi" in Naruko Onsen, Miyagi is characterized by the squeaky sound that is made when the neck is turned. In addition to the traditional shaping, modern kokeshi with a different hair color are also made in recent years. Let's take a look at the lineup of "Matsuda Kobo", a traditional craftworker representing Naruko's Kokeshi making, that won numerous awards, including Miyagi Prefecture Industry Promotion Achievement Award and Labor Minister’s Prize.
Left / Traditional kokeshi made of Japanese dogwood. 1,200 yen ~ 40,000 yen/15 cm ~ 60 cm (tax included · same as below). Right / Traditional Kokeshi made of Japanese pagota wood.1,500 yen ~ 65,000 yen/15 cm ~ 60 cm. It is an old-fashioned kokeshi with a childlike expression and pretty bangs.
From traditional to unique ones
Matsuda Kobo has 150 years of history in Naruko area and its representative, Mr. Tadao Matsuda is the third generation owner.
At around the age of 20, he learned how to make kokeshi from his grandfather and father.
The process of making kokeshi includes drying wood logs (half year to one year) according to the size,shredding with a wheel and Japanese-style plane, polishing, and painting, which has been passed down from the first generation and improved. They produce kokeshi which is a little bit slender in the center of the torso wearing the chrysanthemum pattern and has a stable silhouette. The bangs hanging to left and right on the face and the design of red ornaments at its roots substitute for a family crest that shows a type of the kokeshi. There is a distinctive technique to fit the neck and torso,which makes the squeaky sound when the neck is turned. While focusing on the traditional kokeshi making, "Matsuda Kobo" makes a unique kokeshi item like this.
Kokeshi shaped LED light 9,720 yen. Diameter 55 mm × length 225 mm. Three AAA batteries required.
Here is a collaboration work with a design office 'NOSIGNER'. It may not look like kokeshi at first sight because it doesn’t have a face. However, you can’t resist grasping it due to the form which fits in your hands and the two tone color scheme utilizing plain wood.
Clown Kokeshi. Accessory cases, car dolls and Ategoma are available, one unit 1,700 ~ 9,500 yen.
There are also pop colored dolls like this which can be enjoyed by small children. But is it a little waste to make it a child's toy?
There are nostalgic forms succeeding the tradition as well as modern works making use of woodworks technology. Why don’t you take a look at the nostalgic but new kokeshi world ?