Posted by: softypapa | March 22, 2008

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll Taiko Drum Ningyo Figurine

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

 

Description

Lovely Japanese wooden kokeshi doll set featuring a pair of tiny (please see size information below) dolls with bodies shaped like Japanese drums (taiko).  This small and unique doll display is less than 40 years old and is in fair condition with marks and scratches from handling and discoloration and stains from age and display.  Please read below to learn about the history of kokeshi dolls, one of Japan’s most unique and distinctive folk crafts.

Size:
Height (excluding display stand): 1.2 inches (3.0 centimeters)
Weight: 0.3 ounces (8 grams)

Important note:
Images of the
kokeshi we list are often uploaded to our Japan Vintage Kokeshi Blog which is an on-line gallery of unique and interesting kokeshi dolls.  The purpose of this blog is strictly to share images of some of the wonderful dolls we encounter in the course of our work, and to provide a digital archive to preserve these images into the future.  If you purchase a kokeshi from us and do not want a digital copy of your doll displayed in the photo blog or archive then please simply send us an email indicating your preference and we will promptly remove the image.

Click here to see more kokeshi!
Click
here to see other Japanese dolls!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about Kokeshi

Kokeshi wooden dolls are one of the most unique and interesting of Japan’s many traditional folk crafts.  Originating in the early 19th century in the northern spa towns of Miyagi prefecture, kokeshi are thought to have first been produced as toys for children from leftover bits of scrap wood.  These early dolls were made by craftsmen who earned their living producing other types of woodcraft, but who eventually began to create kokeshi to be sold as souvenirs in the area’s many local hot spring resorts.  Over time the craft was refined, with many regional varieties appearing reflecting a wide range of technical and artistic variation.  Today there are several schools of kokeshi design led by master craftsmen who often pass their trade to succeeding generations within their own family.

When collecting kokeshi it is important to note that you will likely encounter two main types; dolls which are made by artists and those which are mass-produced to be sold as souvenirs.  The former are usually one-of-a-kind originals created by dedicated artisans who take their work very seriously and place great emphasis on traditional design and appearance.  The other type of kokeshi are those which are manufactured specifically to be sold as souvenirs of famous or interesting places such as resorts or hot springs.  These are produced en-mass, and while often attractive and interesting memorabilia they are not as frequently sought after by collectors and usually command a lower selling price.  How can you determine if a kokeshi is an ‘artist’ or ‘craftsman’ style doll?  This is actually quite easy as artist dolls are normally signed (on the bottom) by the maker, and may have no other writing on the body of the doll besides decorative calligraphy.  Souvenir types on the other hand are normally unsigned and may have the name of the place which sold them conspicuously visible on the body of the doll.  Collectors of Kokeshi typically place special emphasis on the facial quality of the dolls, desiring certain types – gentle or mischievous for example – over others.  One interesting Japanese Kokeshi collector we previously met expressed a preference for newer dolls over older ones, fearing the older dolls may be haunted.

item code: R4S4-0004536
ship code: L1650

Posted by: softypapa | March 21, 2008

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Dolls – Kimono Ningyo Figurines

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

 

Description

Lovely Japanese wooden kokeshi doll set.  These pretty dolls are less than 40 years old and is in good condition with slight marks and scratches from handling and discoloration and stains from age and display especially visible on the wooden display base.  Please read below to learn about the history of kokeshi dolls, one of Japan’s most unique and distinctive folk crafts.

Size:
Height of taller doll (excluding display stand): 3.5 inches (9.0 centimeters)
Height of shorter doll (excluding display stand): 1.8 inches (4.7 centimeters)
Weight: 2.3 ounces (66 grams)

Important note:
Images of the
kokeshi we list are often uploaded to our Japan Vintage Kokeshi Blog which is an on-line gallery of unique and interesting kokeshi dolls.  The purpose of this blog is strictly to share images of some of the wonderful dolls we encounter in the course of our work, and to provide a digital archive to preserve these images into the future.  If you purchase a kokeshi from us and do not want a digital copy of your doll displayed in the photo blog or archive then please simply send us an email indicating your preference and we will promptly remove the image.

Click here to see more kokeshi!
Click
here to see other Japanese dolls!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about Kokeshi

Kokeshi wooden dolls are one of the most unique and interesting of Japan’s many traditional folk crafts.  Originating in the early 19th century in the northern spa towns of Miyagi prefecture, kokeshi are thought to have first been produced as toys for children from leftover bits of scrap wood.  These early dolls were made by craftsmen who earned their living producing other types of woodcraft, but who eventually began to create kokeshi to be sold as souvenirs in the area’s many local hot spring resorts.  Over time the craft was refined, with many regional varieties appearing reflecting a wide range of technical and artistic variation.  Today there are several schools of kokeshi design led by master craftsmen who often pass their trade to succeeding generations within their own family.

When collecting kokeshi it is important to note that you will likely encounter two main types; dolls which are made by artists and those which are mass-produced to be sold as souvenirs.  The former are usually one-of-a-kind originals created by dedicated artisans who take their work very seriously and place great emphasis on traditional design and appearance.  The other type of kokeshi are those which are manufactured specifically to be sold as souvenirs of famous or interesting places such as resorts or hot springs.  These are produced en-mass, and while often attractive and interesting memorabilia they are not as frequently sought after by collectors and usually command a lower selling price.  How can you determine if a kokeshi is an ‘artist’ or ‘craftsman’ style doll?  This is actually quite easy as artist dolls are normally signed (on the bottom) by the maker, and may have no other writing on the body of the doll besides decorative calligraphy.  Souvenir types on the other hand are normally unsigned and may have the name of the place which sold them conspicuously visible on the body of the doll.  Collectors of Kokeshi typically place special emphasis on the facial quality of the dolls, desiring certain types – gentle or mischievous for example – over others.  One interesting Japanese Kokeshi collector we previously met expressed a preference for newer dolls over older ones, fearing the older dolls may be haunted.

item code: R4S4-0004535
ship code: L1650

Posted by: softypapa | March 21, 2008

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll – Japan Ningyo Figurine

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

 

Description

Lovely Japanese wooden kokeshi doll.  This pretty doll is less than 40 years old and is in good condition with slight marks and scratches from handling.  Please read below to learn about the history of kokeshi dolls, one of Japan’s most unique and distinctive folk crafts.

Size:
Height: 2.9 inches (7.5 centimeters)
Weight: 1.1 ounces (32 grams)

Important note:
Images of the
kokeshi we list are often uploaded to our Japan Vintage Kokeshi Blog which is an on-line gallery of unique and interesting kokeshi dolls.  The purpose of this blog is strictly to share images of some of the wonderful dolls we encounter in the course of our work, and to provide a digital archive to preserve these images into the future.  If you purchase a kokeshi from us and do not want a digital copy of your doll displayed in the photo blog or archive then please simply send us an email indicating your preference and we will promptly remove the image.

Click here to see more kokeshi!
Click
here to see other Japanese dolls!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about Kokeshi

Kokeshi wooden dolls are one of the most unique and interesting of Japan’s many traditional folk crafts.  Originating in the early 19th century in the northern spa towns of Miyagi prefecture, kokeshi are thought to have first been produced as toys for children from leftover bits of scrap wood.  These early dolls were made by craftsmen who earned their living producing other types of woodcraft, but who eventually began to create kokeshi to be sold as souvenirs in the area’s many local hot spring resorts.  Over time the craft was refined, with many regional varieties appearing reflecting a wide range of technical and artistic variation.  Today there are several schools of kokeshi design led by master craftsmen who often pass their trade to succeeding generations within their own family.

When collecting kokeshi it is important to note that you will likely encounter two main types; dolls which are made by artists and those which are mass-produced to be sold as souvenirs.  The former are usually one-of-a-kind originals created by dedicated artisans who take their work very seriously and place great emphasis on traditional design and appearance.  The other type of kokeshi are those which are manufactured specifically to be sold as souvenirs of famous or interesting places such as resorts or hot springs.  These are produced en-mass, and while often attractive and interesting memorabilia they are not as frequently sought after by collectors and usually command a lower selling price.  How can you determine if a kokeshi is an ‘artist’ or ‘craftsman’ style doll?  This is actually quite easy as artist dolls are normally signed (on the bottom) by the maker, and may have no other writing on the body of the doll besides decorative calligraphy.  Souvenir types on the other hand are normally unsigned and may have the name of the place which sold them conspicuously visible on the body of the doll.  Collectors of Kokeshi typically place special emphasis on the facial quality of the dolls, desiring certain types – gentle or mischievous for example – over others.  One interesting Japanese Kokeshi collector we previously met expressed a preference for newer dolls over older ones, fearing the older dolls may be haunted.

item code: R4S4-0004534
ship code: L1650

Posted by: softypapa | March 21, 2008

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll – Japan Ningyo Figurine

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

 

Description

Lovely Japanese wooden kokeshi doll.  This pretty doll is less than 40 years old and is in fair condition with marks and scratches from handling and discoloration and stains from age and display.  There is also a crack in the body of the doll near the neck (visible and noted in detail listing photos).  Please read below to learn about the history of kokeshi dolls, one of Japan’s most unique and distinctive folk crafts.

Size:
Height: 5.8 inches (14.8 centimeters)
Weight: 2.2 ounces (63 grams)

Important note:
Images of the
kokeshi we list are often uploaded to our Japan Vintage Kokeshi Blog which is an on-line gallery of unique and interesting kokeshi dolls.  The purpose of this blog is strictly to share images of some of the wonderful dolls we encounter in the course of our work, and to provide a digital archive to preserve these images into the future.  If you purchase a kokeshi from us and do not want a digital copy of your doll displayed in the photo blog or archive then please simply send us an email indicating your preference and we will promptly remove the image.

Click here to see more kokeshi!
Click
here to see other Japanese dolls!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about Kokeshi

Kokeshi wooden dolls are one of the most unique and interesting of Japan’s many traditional folk crafts.  Originating in the early 19th century in the northern spa towns of Miyagi prefecture, kokeshi are thought to have first been produced as toys for children from leftover bits of scrap wood.  These early dolls were made by craftsmen who earned their living producing other types of woodcraft, but who eventually began to create kokeshi to be sold as souvenirs in the area’s many local hot spring resorts.  Over time the craft was refined, with many regional varieties appearing reflecting a wide range of technical and artistic variation.  Today there are several schools of kokeshi design led by master craftsmen who often pass their trade to succeeding generations within their own family.

When collecting kokeshi it is important to note that you will likely encounter two main types; dolls which are made by artists and those which are mass-produced to be sold as souvenirs.  The former are usually one-of-a-kind originals created by dedicated artisans who take their work very seriously and place great emphasis on traditional design and appearance.  The other type of kokeshi are those which are manufactured specifically to be sold as souvenirs of famous or interesting places such as resorts or hot springs.  These are produced en-mass, and while often attractive and interesting memorabilia they are not as frequently sought after by collectors and usually command a lower selling price.  How can you determine if a kokeshi is an ‘artist’ or ‘craftsman’ style doll?  This is actually quite easy as artist dolls are normally signed (on the bottom) by the maker, and may have no other writing on the body of the doll besides decorative calligraphy.  Souvenir types on the other hand are normally unsigned and may have the name of the place which sold them conspicuously visible on the body of the doll.  Collectors of Kokeshi typically place special emphasis on the facial quality of the dolls, desiring certain types – gentle or mischievous for example – over others.  One interesting Japanese Kokeshi collector we previously met expressed a preference for newer dolls over older ones, fearing the older dolls may be haunted.

item code: R4S4-0004533
ship code: L1650

Posted by: softypapa | March 21, 2008

Kokeshi Japan Doll Zen Buddhist Daruma Ningyo Figurine

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

 

Description

Small Japanese wooden kokeshi doll shaped like the head of Daruma with five smaller Daruma teeth.  This interesting figure is less than 40 years old and is in good condition with some small marks and scratches from handling and slight discoloration from age and display.  Please read below to learn about Daruma-san as well as the history of kokeshi dolls, one of Japan’s most unique and distinctive folk crafts.

“Life falls down seven times, yet gets up eight…”  This popular Japanese proverb is commonly associated with the Indian Buddhist sage DarumaDaruma is the more familiar name of the historical Buddhist monk Bodhidarma, who lived sometime during the fifth or sixth century AD.  Daruma is credited with the founding of the Zen sect of Buddhism, which he is reputed to have introduced into China during his travels there.  Some of the legends surrounding this figure include tales that he achieved enlightenment or satori only after meditating in a cave for seven years without blinking or moving his eyes.  Another story tells that his enlightenment occurred within a temple in China where he spent his seven years sitting in a room staring at a wall.  Apparently at some point during his long meditation Daruma became so overcome with fatigue that he cut off his eyelids in anger and tossed them to the ground.  These are reputed to have then sprouted into China’s first green tea plants!  It is said that Daruma’s long meditation caused his arms and legs to wither and fall off, leaving him as an armless, legless and eyelidless (yet enlightened) Bodhidarma…  The Japanese love this story and admire Daruma for his spirit and determination, and each new year many Japanese will buy a paper-mache Daruma tumbler doll in order to enlist its services in helping them persevere towards their own goals or achievements.  The dolls are sold with unpainted eyes, allowing the new owner to paint in one eye to symbolize the start of a new goal or venture.  The doll is then placed in a prominent place within the home or at work in order to remind the owner to keep after their aim.  Japanese students especially utilize Daruma to motivate them with their studies; placing a one-eyed Daruma before them on their desk as motivation to work hard and make the grade.  Only after the goal is achieved will the owner then paint in the second eye, symbolizing a realized goal.  Daruma dolls which have completed their jobs as perseverance role models are normally then brought to a temple to be burned during special ceremonies set aside for this purpose.  The last images below are various representations of Daruma found at a Zen temple near our home in Japan.

Size:
Height: 1.8 inches (4.7 centimeters)
Weight: 1.2 ounces (33 grams)

Important note:
Images of the
kokeshi we list are often uploaded to our Japan Vintage Kokeshi Blog which is an on-line gallery of unique and interesting kokeshi dolls.  The purpose of this blog is strictly to share images of some of the wonderful dolls we encounter in the course of our work, and to provide a digital archive to preserve these images into the future.  If you purchase a kokeshi from us and do not want a digital copy of your doll displayed in the photo blog or archive then please simply send us an email indicating your preference and we will promptly remove the image.

Click here to see more kokeshi!
Click
here to see additional Daruma items!
Click
here to see other Japanese dolls!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about Kokeshi

Kokeshi wooden dolls are one of the most unique and interesting of Japan’s many traditional folk crafts.  Originating in the early 19th century in the northern spa towns of Miyagi prefecture, kokeshi are thought to have first been produced as toys for children from leftover bits of scrap wood.  These early dolls were made by craftsmen who earned their living producing other types of woodcraft, but who eventually began to create kokeshi to be sold as souvenirs in the area’s many local hot spring resorts.  Over time the craft was refined, with many regional varieties appearing reflecting a wide range of technical and artistic variation.  Today there are several schools of kokeshi design led by master craftsmen who often pass their trade to succeeding generations within their own family.

When collecting kokeshi it is important to note that you will likely encounter two main types; dolls which are made by artists and those which are mass-produced to be sold as souvenirs.  The former are usually one-of-a-kind originals created by dedicated artisans who take their work very seriously and place great emphasis on traditional design and appearance.  The other type of kokeshi are those which are manufactured specifically to be sold as souvenirs of famous or interesting places such as resorts or hot springs.  These are produced en-mass, and while often attractive and interesting memorabilia they are not as frequently sought after by collectors and usually command a lower selling price.  How can you determine if a kokeshi is an ‘artist’ or ‘craftsman’ style doll?  This is actually quite easy as artist dolls are normally signed (on the bottom) by the maker, and may have no other writing on the body of the doll besides decorative calligraphy.  Souvenir types on the other hand are normally unsigned and may have the name of the place which sold them conspicuously visible on the body of the doll.  Collectors of Kokeshi typically place special emphasis on the facial quality of the dolls, desiring certain types – gentle or mischievous for example – over others.  One interesting Japanese Kokeshi collector we previously met expressed a preference for newer dolls over older ones, fearing the older dolls may be haunted.

item code: R4S4-0004532
ship code: L1650

Posted by: softypapa | March 21, 2008

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll – Japan Ningyo Figurine

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll - Tanuki Ningyo Figurine

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll - Tanuki Ningyo Figurine

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll - Tanuki Ningyo Figurine

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll - Tanuki Ningyo Figurine

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll - Tanuki Ningyo Figurine

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll - Tanuki Ningyo Figurine

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll - Tanuki Ningyo Figurine 

 

Description

Lovely Japanese artist signed wooden kokeshi doll.  This pretty doll is less than 40 years old and is in good condition with some small marks and scratches from handling.  Please read below to learn about the history of kokeshi dolls, one of Japan’s most unique and distinctive folk crafts.

Size:
Height: 3.4 inches (8.8 centimeters)
Weight: 0.8 ounces (23 grams)

Important note:
Images of the
kokeshi we list are often uploaded to our Japan Vintage Kokeshi Blog which is an on-line gallery of unique and interesting kokeshi dolls.  The purpose of this blog is strictly to share images of some of the wonderful dolls we encounter in the course of our work, and to provide a digital archive to preserve these images into the future.  If you purchase a kokeshi from us and do not want a digital copy of your doll displayed in the photo blog or archive then please simply send us an email indicating your preference and we will promptly remove the image.

Click here to see more kokeshi!
Click
here to see other Japanese dolls!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about Kokeshi

Kokeshi wooden dolls are one of the most unique and interesting of Japan’s many traditional folk crafts.  Originating in the early 19th century in the northern spa towns of Miyagi prefecture, kokeshi are thought to have first been produced as toys for children from leftover bits of scrap wood.  These early dolls were made by craftsmen who earned their living producing other types of woodcraft, but who eventually began to create kokeshi to be sold as souvenirs in the area’s many local hot spring resorts.  Over time the craft was refined, with many regional varieties appearing reflecting a wide range of technical and artistic variation.  Today there are several schools of kokeshi design led by master craftsmen who often pass their trade to succeeding generations within their own family.

When collecting kokeshi it is important to note that you will likely encounter two main types; dolls which are made by artists and those which are mass-produced to be sold as souvenirs.  The former are usually one-of-a-kind originals created by dedicated artisans who take their work very seriously and place great emphasis on traditional design and appearance.  The other type of kokeshi are those which are manufactured specifically to be sold as souvenirs of famous or interesting places such as resorts or hot springs.  These are produced en-mass, and while often attractive and interesting memorabilia they are not as frequently sought after by collectors and usually command a lower selling price.  How can you determine if a kokeshi is an ‘artist’ or ‘craftsman’ style doll?  This is actually quite easy as artist dolls are normally signed (on the bottom) by the maker, and may have no other writing on the body of the doll besides decorative calligraphy.  Souvenir types on the other hand are normally unsigned and may have the name of the place which sold them conspicuously visible on the body of the doll.  Collectors of Kokeshi typically place special emphasis on the facial quality of the dolls, desiring certain types – gentle or mischievous for example – over others.  One interesting Japanese Kokeshi collector we previously met expressed a preference for newer dolls over older ones, fearing the older dolls may be haunted.

item code: R4S4-0004531
ship code: L1650

Posted by: softypapa | March 21, 2008

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll – Tanuki Ningyo Figurine

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

 

Description

Small Japanese wooden kokeshi doll designed to resemble a Tanuki Raccoon Dog.  This interesting doll is less than 40 years old and is in fair condition with marks and scratches from handling and discoloration and stains from age and display.  Please read below to learn about Tanuki as well as the history of kokeshi dolls, one of Japan’s most unique and distinctive folk crafts.

The Tanuki or “Raccoon Dog” is a well known and very popular character in Japanese art, song and especially children’s literature.  Tanuki are, in fact, real animals resembling raccoons in both size and general appearance.  The animal’s habitat includes most of the Japanese islands as well as much of central Asia and even parts of Eastern Europe (they have even been spotted in Germany!).  The Japanese have long used the image of the Tanuki as a symbol of the dangers of overindulgence in alcohol.  A famous and very commonly seen type of Tanuki statue features a pot-bellied male specimen standing on two feet with an empty purse in one hand and an empty jug of sake in the other.  The animals genitals are distinctly visible with a rather shrunken penis and grotesquely swollen testes.  The message behind this curious image is that an excess of sake will leave one with an empty purse and full libido yet diminished ability to perform.  Perhaps this story explains why Tanuki statues are a common sight at the entrance to many Japanese bars and nightclubs.

Size:
Height: 2.5 inches (6.5 centimeters)
Weight: 2.9 ounces (84 grams)

Important note:
Images of the
kokeshi we list are often uploaded to our Japan Vintage Kokeshi Blog which is an on-line gallery of unique and interesting kokeshi dolls.  The purpose of this blog is strictly to share images of some of the wonderful dolls we encounter in the course of our work, and to provide a digital archive to preserve these images into the future.  If you purchase a kokeshi from us and do not want a digital copy of your doll displayed in the photo blog or archive then please simply send us an email indicating your preference and we will promptly remove the image.

Click here to see more kokeshi!
Click
here to see additional Tanuki items!
Click
here to see other Japanese dolls!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about Kokeshi

Kokeshi wooden dolls are one of the most unique and interesting of Japan’s many traditional folk crafts.  Originating in the early 19th century in the northern spa towns of Miyagi prefecture, kokeshi are thought to have first been produced as toys for children from leftover bits of scrap wood.  These early dolls were made by craftsmen who earned their living producing other types of woodcraft, but who eventually began to create kokeshi to be sold as souvenirs in the area’s many local hot spring resorts.  Over time the craft was refined, with many regional varieties appearing reflecting a wide range of technical and artistic variation.  Today there are several schools of kokeshi design led by master craftsmen who often pass their trade to succeeding generations within their own family.

When collecting kokeshi it is important to note that you will likely encounter two main types; dolls which are made by artists and those which are mass-produced to be sold as souvenirs.  The former are usually one-of-a-kind originals created by dedicated artisans who take their work very seriously and place great emphasis on traditional design and appearance.  The other type of kokeshi are those which are manufactured specifically to be sold as souvenirs of famous or interesting places such as resorts or hot springs.  These are produced en-mass, and while often attractive and interesting memorabilia they are not as frequently sought after by collectors and usually command a lower selling price.  How can you determine if a kokeshi is an ‘artist’ or ‘craftsman’ style doll?  This is actually quite easy as artist dolls are normally signed (on the bottom) by the maker, and may have no other writing on the body of the doll besides decorative calligraphy.  Souvenir types on the other hand are normally unsigned and may have the name of the place which sold them conspicuously visible on the body of the doll.  Collectors of Kokeshi typically place special emphasis on the facial quality of the dolls, desiring certain types – gentle or mischievous for example – over others.  One interesting Japanese Kokeshi collector we previously met expressed a preference for newer dolls over older ones, fearing the older dolls may be haunted.

item code: R4S4-0004530
ship code: L1650

Posted by: softypapa | March 21, 2008

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll Kappa Imp Ningyo Figurine

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

 

Description

Interesting Japanese wooden kokeshi doll depicting a mythical Japanese Kappa water imp.  This small doll is less than 40 years old and is in fair condition with marks and scratches from handling and discoloration and stains from age and display.  Please read below to learn about the history of kokeshi dolls, one of Japan’s most unique and distinctive folk crafts.

Do you remember how you felt after the first time you saw the film “Jaws”?  If you lived near the ocean then you likely never swam quite as far from shore after seeing the movie than you may have before.  That feeling is probably precisely what most pre-modern Japanese felt whenever they even approached a river, lake or stream.  This is because the “Jaws” of old Japan was not any huge man-eating shark, but instead was a rather small water imp called Kappa who lived in family groups wherever fresh water ran quiet and deep.  Though small in stature (about the size of an 8 to 10 year old child) the average Kappa was nevertheless very strong and capable of grabbing and dragging into the water animals much larger than itself including horses, cattle and of course, unwary people.  Though mischievous and slightly evil, Kappa were nevertheless thought to respect the authority of those they deemed virtuous (especially any who could overcome them) and may become loyal and helpful to such individuals.

Kappa are members of the Suijin group of Japanese Shinto (native religion of Japan) water deities which include enchanted serpents, fish and freshwater eels.  Looking stranger than a platypus, Kappa appear to be assembled from the body of a tortoise with the head of an ape, and sport webbed-feet, blue-green skin and scales and an unusual donut-shaped hair style surrounding a flat depression at the top of the kappa’s skull.  It is thought that when Kappa leave the water they remain powerful as long as their head depression is filled with strength-giving fluid.  Japanese folklore advises us to bow deeply when we encounter a Kappa on dry land, as the creatures do appreciate good manners (though they may be scheming to kill you) and will likely bow in return, spilling their strength-giving fluid in the process.  When their head depression is dry Kappa quickly become weak and must return to water in order to regain their strength (giving the clever human a chance to escape!).  In modern times the Kappa’s image has suffered a fate similar to that of the European Ogre (think Shrek), as no one really believes in them any more and their image in art has changed from frightening monster to cute mascot.  Adorable little Kappa images are today used in Japan to promote a variety of commercial products and even as the heroes of animated cartoons.

Size:
Height: 3.1 inches (8.0 centimeters)
Weight: 1.5 ounces (43 grams)

Important note:
Images of the
kokeshi we list are often uploaded to our Japan Vintage Kokeshi Blog which is an on-line gallery of unique and interesting kokeshi dolls.  The purpose of this blog is strictly to share images of some of the wonderful dolls we encounter in the course of our work, and to provide a digital archive to preserve these images into the future.  If you purchase a kokeshi from us and do not want a digital copy of your doll displayed in the photo blog or archive then please simply send us an email indicating your preference and we will promptly remove the image.

Click here to see more kokeshi!
Click
here to see additional Kappa items!
Click
here to see other Japanese dolls!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about Kokeshi

Kokeshi wooden dolls are one of the most unique and interesting of Japan’s many traditional folk crafts.  Originating in the early 19th century in the northern spa towns of Miyagi prefecture, kokeshi are thought to have first been produced as toys for children from leftover bits of scrap wood.  These early dolls were made by craftsmen who earned their living producing other types of woodcraft, but who eventually began to create kokeshi to be sold as souvenirs in the area’s many local hot spring resorts.  Over time the craft was refined, with many regional varieties appearing reflecting a wide range of technical and artistic variation.  Today there are several schools of kokeshi design led by master craftsmen who often pass their trade to succeeding generations within their own family.

When collecting kokeshi it is important to note that you will likely encounter two main types; dolls which are made by artists and those which are mass-produced to be sold as souvenirs.  The former are usually one-of-a-kind originals created by dedicated artisans who take their work very seriously and place great emphasis on traditional design and appearance.  The other type of kokeshi are those which are manufactured specifically to be sold as souvenirs of famous or interesting places such as resorts or hot springs.  These are produced en-mass, and while often attractive and interesting memorabilia they are not as frequently sought after by collectors and usually command a lower selling price.  How can you determine if a kokeshi is an ‘artist’ or ‘craftsman’ style doll?  This is actually quite easy as artist dolls are normally signed (on the bottom) by the maker, and may have no other writing on the body of the doll besides decorative calligraphy.  Souvenir types on the other hand are normally unsigned and may have the name of the place which sold them conspicuously visible on the body of the doll.  Collectors of Kokeshi typically place special emphasis on the facial quality of the dolls, desiring certain types – gentle or mischievous for example – over others.  One interesting Japanese Kokeshi collector we previously met expressed a preference for newer dolls over older ones, fearing the older dolls may be haunted.

item code: R4S4-0004529
ship code: L1650

Posted by: softypapa | March 21, 2008

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Doll – Japan Ningyo Figurine

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

 

Description

Small Japanese wooden kokeshi doll.  This interesting doll is less than 40 years old and is in poor to fair condition with marks and scratches from handling and discoloration and stains from age and display.  Please read below to learn about the history of kokeshi dolls, one of Japan’s most unique and distinctive folk crafts.

Size:
Height: 3.9 inches (10.0 centimeters)
Weight: 1.9 ounces (54 grams)

Important note:
Images of the
kokeshi we list are often uploaded to our Japan Vintage Kokeshi Blog which is an on-line gallery of unique and interesting kokeshi dolls.  The purpose of this blog is strictly to share images of some of the wonderful dolls we encounter in the course of our work, and to provide a digital archive to preserve these images into the future.  If you purchase a kokeshi from us and do not want a digital copy of your doll displayed in the photo blog or archive then please simply send us an email indicating your preference and we will promptly remove the image.

Click here to see more kokeshi!
Click
here to see other Japanese dolls!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about Kokeshi

Kokeshi wooden dolls are one of the most unique and interesting of Japan’s many traditional folk crafts.  Originating in the early 19th century in the northern spa towns of Miyagi prefecture, kokeshi are thought to have first been produced as toys for children from leftover bits of scrap wood.  These early dolls were made by craftsmen who earned their living producing other types of woodcraft, but who eventually began to create kokeshi to be sold as souvenirs in the area’s many local hot spring resorts.  Over time the craft was refined, with many regional varieties appearing reflecting a wide range of technical and artistic variation.  Today there are several schools of kokeshi design led by master craftsmen who often pass their trade to succeeding generations within their own family.

When collecting kokeshi it is important to note that you will likely encounter two main types; dolls which are made by artists and those which are mass-produced to be sold as souvenirs.  The former are usually one-of-a-kind originals created by dedicated artisans who take their work very seriously and place great emphasis on traditional design and appearance.  The other type of kokeshi are those which are manufactured specifically to be sold as souvenirs of famous or interesting places such as resorts or hot springs.  These are produced en-mass, and while often attractive and interesting memorabilia they are not as frequently sought after by collectors and usually command a lower selling price.  How can you determine if a kokeshi is an ‘artist’ or ‘craftsman’ style doll?  This is actually quite easy as artist dolls are normally signed (on the bottom) by the maker, and may have no other writing on the body of the doll besides decorative calligraphy.  Souvenir types on the other hand are normally unsigned and may have the name of the place which sold them conspicuously visible on the body of the doll.  Collectors of Kokeshi typically place special emphasis on the facial quality of the dolls, desiring certain types – gentle or mischievous for example – over others.  One interesting Japanese Kokeshi collector we previously met expressed a preference for newer dolls over older ones, fearing the older dolls may be haunted.

item code: R4S4-0004528
ship code: L1650

Posted by: softypapa | March 21, 2008

Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Dolls Shinto Shichifukujin Gods

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kokeshi Ningyo Doll Figure Figurine Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

 

Description

Interesting Japanese wooden kokeshi doll display featuring seven tiny figures representing the famous Japanese Shinto (native religion of Japan) luck gods called Shichifukujin.  The small figures are mounted on a base which can be flipped to store the dolls within their display hammer.  This interesting doll set is less than 40 years old and is in poor condition with marks and scratches from handling and discoloration and stains from age and display.  The display may be missing some piece as there is a hole in one end where something may have previously been inserted.  Please read below to learn about the history of kokeshi dolls, one of Japan’s most unique and distinctive folk crafts.

In Japanese folklore the Shichifukujin are the seven gods of wealth, happiness and longevity.  These famous gods (six male and one female) are frequently seen together in Japanese art, often in a boat sailing the seas of fortune.  However, the individual gods actually hail from a variety of religious faiths including Buddhism and Taoism as well as Japan’s native religion of Shinto.  The gods are:

  1. EbisuEbisu is Japan’s god of fisherman and the morning sun.  Ebisu is also sometimes regarded as the protector of small children, a role he shares with the Buddhist deity JizoEbisu is also the only member of the Shichifukujin seven who is of Japanese origin.
  2. DaikokutenDaikoku is the god of wealth, food and worldly success; and statues of this happy deity have for centuries been common fixtures of Japanese homes, particularly kitchens.  Daikoku is also reputed to be Ebisu’s father.
  3. Fukurokujin – Originating in Chinese Taoism this god is the symbol of wealth, happiness and longevity and is usually seen carrying a long staff or cane.
  4. Hoteison – A plump Zen Buddhist monk from China, usually seen with a bag in one hand and a fan in the other.
  5. Jurojin – The Taoist god of long life.  This god is also usually seen carrying a staff in his hand.
  6. Benzaiten – The only female of the bunch.  This goddess is from India and is the patron of music and culture.  She is usually seen carrying an old fashioned Japanese biwa (a type of lute).
  7. Bishamonten – The warrior of the bunch.  This god is originally from India and is charged with protecting people and their treasure.  Bishamonten is usually depicted wearing armor.

Size:
Height of entire display: 2.5 inches (6.5 centimeters)
Weight: 1.2 ounces (35 grams)

Important note:
Images of the
kokeshi we list are often uploaded to our Japan Vintage Kokeshi Blog which is an on-line gallery of unique and interesting kokeshi dolls.  The purpose of this blog is strictly to share images of some of the wonderful dolls we encounter in the course of our work, and to provide a digital archive to preserve these images into the future.  If you purchase a kokeshi from us and do not want a digital copy of your doll displayed in the photo blog or archive then please simply send us an email indicating your preference and we will promptly remove the image.

Click
here to see additional kokeshi!
Click
here to see other Shichifukujin items!
Click
here to see more Shinto items!
Click
here to see other Japanese dolls!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about Kokeshi

Kokeshi wooden dolls are one of the most unique and interesting of Japan’s many traditional folk crafts.  Originating in the early 19th century in the northern spa towns of Miyagi prefecture, kokeshi are thought to have first been produced as toys for children from leftover bits of scrap wood.  These early dolls were made by craftsmen who earned their living producing other types of woodcraft, but who eventually began to create kokeshi to be sold as souvenirs in the area’s many local hot spring resorts.  Over time the craft was refined, with many regional varieties appearing reflecting a wide range of technical and artistic variation.  Today there are several schools of kokeshi design led by master craftsmen who often pass their trade to succeeding generations within their own family.

When collecting kokeshi it is important to note that you will likely encounter two main types; dolls which are made by artists and those which are mass-produced to be sold as souvenirs.  The former are usually one-of-a-kind originals created by dedicated artisans who take their work very seriously and place great emphasis on traditional design and appearance.  The other type of kokeshi are those which are manufactured specifically to be sold as souvenirs of famous or interesting places such as resorts or hot springs.  These are produced en-mass, and while often attractive and interesting memorabilia they are not as frequently sought after by collectors and usually command a lower selling price.  How can you determine if a kokeshi is an ‘artist’ or ‘craftsman’ style doll?  This is actually quite easy as artist dolls are normally signed (on the bottom) by the maker, and may have no other writing on the body of the doll besides decorative calligraphy.  Souvenir types on the other hand are normally unsigned and may have the name of the place which sold them conspicuously visible on the body of the doll.  Collectors of Kokeshi typically place special emphasis on the facial quality of the dolls, desiring certain types – gentle or mischievous for example – over others.  One interesting Japanese Kokeshi collector we previously met expressed a preference for newer dolls over older ones, fearing the older dolls may be haunted.

item code: R4S4-0004527
ship code: L1650

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