Kokeshi doll is a forest
Usaburo Kokeshi is located in the nature-rich village of Shinto in Gunma Prefecture.
All the woods used for Kokeshi dolls are collected from the mountains of Gunma. The use of mature trees encourages the regeneration of the forest and plays a part in the cycle of maintaining the green village.
Kokeshi dolls are the rebirth of the forest. They are a gift from nature.
Kokeshi doll is a technique
The carving, the layered baking lines, the blurring and shading, the gentle eyes.
The techniques of kokeshi doll making inherited from previous generations gently depict the simple beauty of the Japanese people.
Kokeshi is a craft of technique. While weaving together tradition and newness, we give life to the wood.
Kokeshi doll is a wish
Kokeshi dolls were first made in the Edo period to express wishes for physical and mental recovery, a good harvest, and the growth of children.
The wish for daily happiness and peace is the same today. We hope that your blessings and encouragement will reach your loved ones through kokeshi dolls.
Kokeshi doll is an expression of wishes. It's a talisman that accompany you in your daily life.
Kokeshi doll is a connection
Suddenly, "that person" comes to your mind and you wonder how he or she is doing. Sometimes kokeshi dolls give us such an opportunity.
The person who gave me that. The child in memory. The family living apart. The person you were. The memories surrounding kokeshi dolls come back to life beyond time and space.
Kokeshi doll is a connection between people. It exists with the memory of warm feelings.
Usaburo Okamoto, the first generation
Founder of Usaburo Kokeshi born in Shinto Village, Gunma Prefecture in 1918.
After the war, after manufacturing crafts using artificial stones and metals, he started manufacturing kokeshi in 1950.
In addition to the painting decoration with brushes, which was the mainstream at that time, he created a unique expression technique that gave a three-dimensional effect by engraving and baking.
After research on wood processing, he established a method to incorporate zelkova and chestnuts, which are fragile but have beautiful grain, into kokeshi dolls.
In 1979, a workshop that introduced machines such as the potter's wheel was set up in a mass production system that combined it with a new handmade process, and since then it has grown into a workshop that boasts the largest production of kokeshi dolls in Japan.
He died in July 2009 at the age of 91.
▷ Main design work「Cold camellia」