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福島 こけし Fukushima Kokeshi Fukushima Kokeshi Dolls

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Fukushima kokeshi dolls are a unique handicraft of Fukushima Prefecture.

A kokeshi is a wooden doll made on a lathe. Its history dates back to the end of the Edo period and it was first sold as a souvenir to tourists visiting hot springs in the Tohoku region.

Kokeshi dolls lost their popularity as toys in the Taisho period because of the rise of new toys. However, adults began to collect kokeshi as a hobby. There are 10 different kinds of regional kokeshi and the Fukushima one is called 'tsuchiyu'. The main production areas of these kokeshi are Tsuchiyu Hot Spring, Izaka Hot Spring, Dake Hot Spring, Fukushima City and Koriyama City.

The defining features of Fukushima kokeshi are a ring on the head and a red pattern called 'kase' between the forelock and the hair. The body is patterned mainly with lines.

Fukushima kokeshi is a cute traditional handicraft that is more than beautiful.
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