Last Updated 07.27.14 mmolina
Previous Updated 02.11.11
Intro Q&A 1 :. Q&A 2 :: Artist :: Sources  :: Dolls Gallery::.
Stories .:.:
Intro
What is it?
Where is it made?
What types are there?
     Dento Strains
     Shingata
How is it made
Type of wood used
Features
 History Variations
    Lucky
     Spiritual
   Souvenirs
    Tribute
    Controversial
Artist
Sources
Fan Art Gallery
Kokeshi - Strains                                                                                            
Last Updated 02.11.11 mmolina
Previous Updated 08.15.08
Intro Q&A 1 :. Q&A 2 :: Artist :: Sources  :: Dolls Gallery::.
Stories .:.:
Intro
What is it?
Where is it made?
What types are there?
     Dento Strains
     Shingata
How is it made
Type of wood used
Features
History Variations
     Lucky
     Spiritual
     Souvenirs
     Tribute
     Controversial
Artist
Sources
Fan Art Gallery
Kokeshi - Strains                                                                                            
Traditional Dento Classifications
Togatta
Yajiro
Naruko
Tsugaru
Tsuchiyu
Nakanosawa
Nanbu / Hanamaki
    Kina-Kina

Yamagata
Kijiyama
Hijiori Sakunami Zao-Takay
Kijiyama
 Traditional Kokeshi
Shinchi in Fukushima Prefecture, map courtesy of Shiqenobu AOKI-San @ http://aoki2.si.gunma-u.ac.jp/map/map.html
Kijiyama Kokeshi are produced in Inagawa-machi, Kijiyama and Kawazura all places in Akita-Ken Japan. Akita Prefecture is located in Tohoku region of Northern Japan it has short summers and very long winters and has had some of the highest snowfalls in all of Japan. It is also the home of Lake Tazawako were the legend of Taksuko was born and is commemorated by a golden statue. Kijiyama Kokeshi can be traced back to the Ogura Family who migrated to Akita in the late 1800s. The defining characteristic of Kijiyama Kokeshi is that it is made of one piece of wood, although earlier ones are believed to have had jointed heads. Kijiyama Kokeshi have beautiful Kimono like patterns on their bodies, these patterns are rather new it is believed the stripped pattern is only about 60 years old.
REMEMBER TO PLACE YOUR MOUSE OVER THE UNDERLINED TEXT
Head /Hair
Full head of hair (full bobbed hairstyle shingled in the back or tuft of hair above the nape [meiji period]), bangs, dragonfly bow like design, elongated egg-like head shape or rounded.
Facial Features: Here are some representative faces Faces with varying eyes, nose, lips and hair styles of Kijiyama Kokeshi. From left to right Kokeshi by Ito Yuichi, Inoue Takematsu and Kitayama Kenichi; Soulportal Collection as noted below
Cheeks Nose - Design Eye Design Mouth Design
Typically no blush is used Neko-Banna
 
 
Nose style designs on Kijiyama Kokeshi
 

(Cat Nose)
Naga-Bana
(long nose)
Maru-Bana
(Round Nose)

Hangetsu Gata Eye Designs on Kijiyama Kokeshi
(Half Moon)
Tsubushi-Me
(All Black)
Single Line with red dot underneath,
Double Line
 
Body Features: The body is composed of one piece of wood (Tsukuritsuke) and has a visible neck and rounded shoulders. They vary from Slim Slim body, with painted Mums, Design by Takahashi Yuji; Soulportal Collection to slightly Chunky Chunky body reminiscent of Naruko body style, with painted Peony (rare), Design by Miyahara Taiji; Soulportal Collection in width and length. Some rare older versions are composed of two pieces attached by wooden peg.
Substrains:  
Origins: Akita, Minase, Inagawa, Yuzawa,Kijiyama, Kawazura
Design Elements
Flowers Other
Mums Chrysanthemum design on the front and Plum blossom on the back by Abe Heishiro; Soulportal Collection Daruma Daruma Design by Miyahara Taiji; Soulportal Collection
Iris Iris Maedare Design by Onodera Masanori; Soulportal Collection Colors
Cherry Blossom Cherry Blossom Design by Sasaki Haruo; Soulportal Collection
Peony (rarely used)
Green, Black & Red (Later versions have some purple)
Accessories: Some are designed with varying Maedares (apron). Three commonly seen versions are Kasuri, Kasuri Maedare Design Kasuri Maedera Design by Masanori Onodera   Stripped, Stripped Maedare Design by Takahashi Heijiro Soulportal Collection Stripped Maedare Design by Takahashi Heijiro; Soulportal Collection and Umebachi Umebachi Maedare Design Umebachi Maedera (Plum Apron) Design by Ogura Kyutaro; Soulportal Collection (plum). Not all have a maedare design some are styled with beautiful mum or iris patterns on the front and plum blossoms in the back.
 
 
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The following descriptions are from various sources and research that I have done over the past 5 years. I have tried my best to include and validate all the information provided. There is room for error, since much of the information is translated from Japanese sites and books, if you find an error or would like to contribute comments or suggestions please contact me Brossia at Soulportals. Hope you find these pages helpful.
Traditional Dento Classifications
Togatta
Yajiro
Naruko
Tsugaru
Tsuchiyu
Nakanosawa
Nanbu / Hanamaki / Kina-Kina Yamagata Kijiyama
Hijiori Sakunami Zao-Takay
Hijiori
There are not many Hijiori artist today and thus these types of Kokeshi are considered rare. The Hijiori strain was first produced in Ōkura town in Mogami County at the Hijiori Hot Springs in Yamagata Prefecture.  It was said to have been started by Kakizaki Denzō who learned to make kokeshi in Narugo, later returning home to start his own kokeshi business around the late 1870s. Inoue Tōgorō, an apprentice of Kakizaki Denzō, also trained at the Tōgatta Hot Springs to learn new techniques. Hijiori Kokeshi are a mixture of the Togatta and Naruko Strains this can be seen in the characteristics of each doll today, such as the Togatta like head and the thick bodies of Naruko Kokeshi. A unique type which is identifiably Hijiori is the Shosuke type edged with thick black hair, large faces with long slanted eyes under thick eyebrows and slightly pursed red lips.
Head /Hair
Double Bow-Tie Double bow-tie and Shosuke hair design
Heads can be big and blocky, some are round or oval like. The hair consist of a single, or double bang with side tufts, some like the shosuke will have a full crown of hair with long side tufts. Ornaments on the hair are a double bow tie (sometimes refered to as dragon fly) usually in red and green or tied hair with few tegara lines.
Facial Features
Cheeks Nose - Design Eye Design Mouth Design
Circular, Lightly Colored in Red Traditional Kokeshi Togatta Hijiori with a hat accessory and blushed cheeks. The artist is Sadao Kobayashi. Nakobana Togatta Nose type Ware-bana Long Cat Nose design
Bachibana Togatta Nose type Ware-bana Bachibana - Long drumstick nose
Shishibana Togatta Nose type Ware-bana Shishibana - Flared nostrils or Lion Nose
FUTAE-MABUTA; Variety of double eye lid with open /closed corners Pursed - curved lips slightly opened and single upper lip line with full red lower lip Different Lip /Eye Designs
 
Body Features: Straight cylinder shoulders where some have a thin, elevated, rounded rim. Others have what appears to be a small base like stand. There are also those that have a yellow base paint on the body, and belt like waist band. Hijiori Kokeshi are made of two pieces of wood which form the head and body.
Substrains: Shusuke and Okuyama Series Kokeshi by Kuraji Okuyama notice the beautiful Tegara spread on the head very Togatta like, while the body is more representative of Narugo
Design Elements
Flowers Other
Kānēshon Traditional Kokeshi Fringed Pink Carnation Carnations are popular in all cultures and meanings span from, I'll never forget you, to Undying love Ejiko Kokeshi by Kuraji Okuyama Ejiko Design
Fringed Pink Carnations Fringed Pink Carnation Design by Seiichi Suzuki.
Princess Daruma Kokeshi by Shigeyuki Sato Daruma Princess Design
Layered Mum Layered Mum by Sato Shigenosuke. Obi-Sash
Accessories: Waist Band Kokeshi by Sato Shoichi it's design includes a yellow body base, Hijiori Mums, raised shoulder rim painted in red and a beautiful waist band. Facial Features are those of Shusuke style. Rattle Kokeshi by Kuraji Okuyama, Azuki Beans are placed in the head. When children shake the Kokeshi they can hear a rattling sound  
Origins: Togatta, Hijiori,Sendai-shi, Miyagi
Woods: Mizuki
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