Kokeshi was created during the end of Edo-period in Tohoku region in Japan and sold as a toy/souvenir to tourists at the popular hot springs. It is carved out on a wheel, which is quite similar to how our pots are made.
There are two kinds of Kokeshi doll – the Traditional Kokeshi that consists of 11 different styles and originated from 6 prefectures in Tohoku, and the Modern Kokeshi that was created by modern craftsmen and sold as a souvenir all over Japan. Kokeshi as originally created as a toy for children and is designed in a way that a child or infant can hold on to the doll easily. The width of the body of a kokeshi doll is meant to fit in a child’s hand nicely. We love how a traditional craft and natural material like wood is combined with a cute design and simple colors. I can imagine how a child would be attracted to the toy when they are on a holiday with their parents. It kind of reminds me of how I was naturally attracted to ceramic pieces with faces and colors when I hung out at my parent’s pottery studio as a child, surrounded by more ‘serious’ and ‘adult’ works.
Above is one of our earliest pot shapes that was inspired by the Japanese Kokeshi Doll. I was inspired to create something that would speak to someone out there who is playful and filled with the curiosity of a child.
We have just updated our store and you can see the full Kokeshi collection here.