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Cool Japan / Sakunami-kokeshi (作並こけし)

http://www.wanoa.com/images/photos/fullsize/1732_01.jpg
(Sakunami Kokeshi)

Sakunami Kokeshi is a wooden doll and traditional craft product originating in Sakunami hot-spring area which is, along with Akiho hot-spring, the most popular resort in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture.
Sakunami Kokeshi has a body slimmer than other kokeshi. It is generally a kind of cylindrical shape becoming gradually slimmer from shoulder to lower body.
http://travel.rakuten.co.jp/share/image_up/38433/LARGE/M1SRVR.jpeg
(Sakunami Kokeshi Workshop)

Sakunami kokeshi has a relatively short history and is considered to begin appearing around the late Edo Period to the beginning of Meiji Period. Another characteristic that defines Sakunami Kokeshi is that it was developed in an urban area.
Material for the kokeshi comes from naturally grown trees such as itaya, mizuki (dogwood) and aoka in the Northeast region. Those trees have a fine white texture and the wood is difficult to break, which is why the kokeshi makers use the trees.
http://travel.rakuten.co.jp/share/image_up/38433/LARGE/SvwW3h.jpeg
(Sakunami Kokeshi Workshop & Shop)

Circular patterns are applied to the shoulder and the bottom sections of the body and original designs of chrysanthemums are drawn between them. It is believed that the kokeshi was influenced by Toogatta Kokeshi also from the same Miyazaki Prefecture.
The kokeshi has a gentle and delicate facial expression and is far from flamboyant. It is the simplest kokeshi of all that evokes the warmth of natural trees and is still much cherished.

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By TS on Apr 19, 2012
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