26 December 2007

Collecting Favorites: Creative Kokeshi Dolls

Happy day after Christmas! It’s a big catch up day for many so I’ve made my blog entry today simple by sharing a favorite collection – Kokeshi Dolls

As far as I can remember, I’ve admired and/or collected Kokeshi dolls. Their simplicity and beauty is what always draws me in. My collection started out very young when I received my first cheap traditional, tourist pair from my Aunt who had lived in Japan and had several boxes and coffee cans of cool Japanese trinkets and toys. When we would visit she would let us sort through her collection and select a few things. I did not start collecting seriously until I was an adult and moved in to a house where my Kokeshi became a collecting focal point in my main room / living room. My collection has not extended into Kokeshi themed art.

Here’s just a little about Kokeshi (from Wikipedia) and some of my favorite dolls:

Kokeshi, are Japanese dolls, originally from northern Japan. They are handmade from wood, have a simple trunk and an enlarged head with a few thin, painted lines to define the face. The body has a floral design painted in red, black, and sometimes yellow, and covered with a layer of wax. One characteristic of Kokeshi dolls is their lack of arms or legs. The bottom is marked with the signature of the artist.

Traditional Kokeshi (Dento) dolls shapes and patterns became particular to a certain area and are classified under eleven types. Creative Kokeshi (Shingata) allow the artist complete freedom in terms of shape, design and color and were developed after World War II.”

Many people in Japan also believe that not only does the Kokeshi doll represent an ornamental piece, but also a lucky charm, some even suggesting that it will keep away evil spirits from the home and protect from fire because of the mizuki 'water tree' wood often used to make the dolls head.

Happy, happy Wednesday!!! Enjoy shopping, socializing, resting, reflecting….

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