Japanese Kokeshi dolls (File photo)
Japanese Kokeshi dolls (File photo)

Kokeshi dolls one of Japan's popular cultural icons today

ANI | Updated: May 16, 2020 18:53 IST

Tokyo [Japan], May 16 (ANI): Japanese Kokeshi dolls, one of the oldest forms of dolls in the world, have become a famous icon of Japanese culture today.
Made from a single piece of wood, these dolls are made in a variety of styles, ranging from traditional designs to modern cultural references.
"Wooden doll is made all around the world. However European dolls have hand, leg, mouth and other facial features whereas Japanese Kokeshi doll does not have sculptured feature rather it inspires imagination," a Kokeshi-maker said.
The Kokeshi doll has been manufactured in the same way for hundreds of years.
Though there is a variety of trees, the most common type is the cherry tree, which does not get affected by moisture and is very dense. Therefore, it is perfect for the sculpturing process.

"Dolls consist of head, body and base and are made with the same old technique, which includes carving the wood quickly and then forming it with drilling metal tool. The most common shape is either spherical or cylindrical," said another maker of those dolls.
After carving the wood, the detail is either burnt or painted onto the wood.
The method used primarily is ironing with hot metal.
In the past, all the decorations were painted with hot ember. Now, Kokeshi doll has become the most famous gift from Japan and many tourists are keen to acquire it.
"Kokeshi doll has been part of the Japanese culture since long and is still beloved by many," a customer said.
Though Kokeshi doll was introduced as a toy for kids, but it has today become an integral part of Japanese culture. (ANI)