Kokeshi Dolls & Their Kimonos

Kokeshi dolls

Compare the picture of the young woman wearing her kimono below to the painted kimonos on the Kokeshi dolls. On the doll 2nd from the left the doll is holding up her ‘sleeves,’ on three of the dolls the layered effect at the neck is represented as well.

From the first time I saw a Kokeshi doll on Ebay, I have been madly in love with them. As I own a doll store, you would think I would fall in love with the dolls I sell right? But somehow it didn’t turn out that way. I fell in love with Kokeshi dolls instead. Go figure.

There are a lot of reasons I like collecting Kokeshi itspharmacy.net… they’re pretty readily available, there are several different styles to choose from, they have a well defined history, and they are reasonably priced for a collectible doll, with most selling around $30. And unlike some collectibles which are too delicate to be handled, Kokeshi can be handled, there is a heft to the wood, the smoothness of the paint and lacquer, the textures of the carvings.

A  Japanese woman wearing her Coming of Age Day kimono

A Japanese women’s Coming of Age Day kimono

But mostly I like the kimonos. What makes Kokeshi dolls different, one from the other, is their kimonos. The Japanese kimonos that women wear for certain special days like weddings or Coming of Age Day are works of art. And the craftsmen who paint and carve the kimonos onto Kokeshi dolls are trying to reproduce that sense of “Kimono as Art” onto their dolls.

For me, that’s what makes them special.