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Kokeshi dolls are handcrafted wooden Japanese Kokeshi Japanese Theme toys initially enjoyed by children of peasant farmers in the Tohiku region of northern Japan. s originated during the Edo period (1600 to 1868). The dolls were commonly sold as good fortune Miyages (souvenirs) to visitors of the hot springs in the north-east of the country. Today these dolls are popular with collectors, plus provide souvenirs for tourists visiting Japan.
The word Kokeshi is derived from Japanese words: Ko (small) and Keshi (dolls). Traditional figures have over sized heads, cylindrical bodies, no arms or legs and usually appear female in traditional kimono dress.
Kokeshi dolls heads are painted by skillful artisans who define the facial features by using few, thin, simple lines. The doll bodies are generally painted using bright, contrasting colors of red, black, and yellow, then hand decorated with symbolic representations of nature including plants, vines, flowers, birds, animals, butterflies, clouds and other abstract, traditional or culturally significant designs.