Appreciating the Evolution of Japanese Kokeshi & Toys

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We are here to celebrate the fact that Japan, and its people, have always depended upon a cooperative learning environment in creative expression, and a co-existence between humans and the natural environment. This is the basis for the ‘craft’ of Kokeshi, as an element, (wood), never wasted. Many descendants of the ‘Traditional’ Kokeshi Families, joined by artists and crafts people, male and female, all over Japan, created infinitely different versions of Kokeshi, preserving history through imagined and real nostalgia, (natsukashisa), related to one’s environment. In retaining a standard cylindrical shape, providing a basic form, artists broadened the scope of the body decoration, colors, and unique woodworking techniques, which supported a creative approach and a renewed interest in the recycling of the forest’s bounty, thereby preserving history. MingeiArts, (Art of the People), celebrates this “High Craft” and the accomplishments of the Japanese woodworker.

We welcome domestic and international Kokeshi fans, and we thank you for visiting our site.

“Folk art stirs memories of place, affirms individual taste and identity, and a trace of life’s everlasting impressions”


A Collector's Guide: Traditional and Creative Kokeshi and Toys

$14.99 Regular price $24.99


What makes some of us collectors and others just observers? Is it an innate trait? Does the need to collect develop as we educate ourselves through study, and become aware of a particular piece of art or craft? When does the desire to collect become a driving force in one’s life? The answers will undoubtedly go wanting, to a certain degree, for a long time.

So therein lies the thrust of this Collectors Guide: a research guide to Traditional and Contemporary Kokeshi, and what is becoming a very collectible art form -- one in which we hope you will take great delight, and one which perhaps will trigger an appreciation for, and an interest in, collecting them as well.

After thirty years of research and collecting, we are finally releasing this eBook! We are so proud to send this out into the world, and hope that you share with us the joy that Kokeshi Dolls and Toys have brought to our lives. This extensive 114 page, one-of-a-kind eBook presents over 435 full-color images, exploring noteworthy Japanese artists and the variety, diversity, and historical uniqueness of the very best examples of both traditional and creative Kokeshi dolls and toys. Included are the origins, the artists' overview and signatures, and the descriptive qualities and standard characteristics of each collection as it represents a culturally rich and creative society.

NOTE: This is an eBook - after purchase you will receive a link to download the PDF file, which you can add to your tablet, phone or read on your computer. All rights reserved; please do not copy, or redistribute the file without permission.

ISBN: 978-1-4951-4155-3

© 2019 — Vermillion Publishing

Vintage Japanese Hisamine Uzura Guruma

“Quail Push Toy on Wheels”

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Artisan | Woodworker: Kano, Chiyomatsu (Kanou) | 1935-

Kano-san shows his ability to create and select a form that best interacts with the natural characteristics of the intrinsic beauty of wood, harmoniously blending the traditional and contemporary imagery.

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