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A beautiful vintage wooden Kokeshi Japanese Doll who looks like she is praying. Very simple design, as is indicative of these dolls, but exquisite in their artistry and craftsmanship. This vintage Kokeshi doll is 7 1/2" tall and is in excellent condition with no dents or scratches. She has the makers mark on the bottom, but we are not able to read Japanese so are not able to tell you what it says. See pic. 3 for closeup of mark.

Apparently, these dolls originally date back to the Edo Period (1600-1868), but the reason for their creation varies depending on which internet research site you visit. The exact city or region of their origin also differs. Some people believe they were first made in an area known for forestry and lumber production. Because the workers in this region had very little money, but plenty of wood scraps they would use them to create very simple (no arms or legs) dolls for their children to play with. Some historians believe these dolls were created to stand in place of unwanted children (as in infanticide - how sad) or children lost to injury or illness. Several sites seemed to confirm that once these dolls grew in popularity they started being produced in all different areas of Japan for all different types of businesses associated with the tourist trade. Basically they became souvenirs.

These dolls are very simple, made of wood with very few, if any, features to them, both carved or painted on. Some of the newer dolls or those from bigger cities show the artisans started to branch out and add more color and carvings to their creations.

The Nintendo Wii creators modeled the players after the Kokeshi doll.

There are numerous Kokeshi doll styles, but they all share a common philosophy: the pursuit of beauty and artistry through simplicity. The woods used for Kokeshi include cherry, dogwood and Japanese maple. Before being made into a doll, the wood is left outdoors to season for one to five years. Because they are handcrafted and hand-painted, no two dolls are the same. One characteristic of kokeshi dolls is their lack of arms or legs. The bottom is marked with the signature of the artist.

If you have any questions, please convo us...we always respond promptly and love to hear from you.

WORLDWIDE SHIPPING OPTIONS MAY BE AVAILABLE. Don't see your country listed? Convo for a quote.

Thanks so much for stopping by our vintage store and we hope to see you again soon!

Please visit our other Etsy Shop for original art, purses, jewelry, pillows, etc.

Vintage KOKESHI Wooden Doll - JAPANESE - Praying Kokeshi - Collectible