“Japanese Kokeshi Dolls: The Woodcraft and Culture of Japan’s Iconic Wooden Dolls” will be released by Tuttle Publishing on Nov. 30.
An inside look at kokeshi dolls: from the skilled woodworkers behind their design to their important cultural significance.
Kokeshi are the simple and charming traditional Japanese dolls characterized by their cylindrical shape and lack of arms and legs. Historically made as children’s toys in Japan’s northern region of Tohoku, they have now become a popular collector’s item and have even inspired famous architects and artists.
In this visual guide, readers will find:
– An overview of the different types of dolls
– How kokeshi dolls are crafted, including information on tools and woods used
– Interviews with leading kokeshi craftspeople worldwide
– Detailed information about both traditional dolls and the modern ones being crafted today
– An exploration of the cultural significance of kokeshi dolls — both historically and for the areas of northern Japan that rebuilt themselves after their region was decimated by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011
– A guide to visiting Japan’s kokeshi regions
– Information on how to buy the dolls — either directly from Japanese artisans or stockists worldwide
Filled with artist interviews, gorgeous photos and first-hand travel experience, author Manami Okazaki has created a book to be enjoyed by all — from serious collectors to woodcrafters, interior designers, architects, armchair travelers and anyone with an interest in Japanese culture and travel.
Okazaki has published 12 books on Japanese culture. Her articles have been featured in The Japan Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, South China Morning Post, Lonely Planet, Transit and other global media. She has collected and written extensively about kokeshi and the Tohoku region for over ten years.
She was active in volunteer and charity work in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, curating kokeshi events in London, Paris, Rome and Los Angeles with a mission to help the people of Tohoku.