Kokeshi - Strains
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.
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)
(long nose)
(Round Nose)

Hangetsu Gata Eye Designs on Kijiyama Kokeshi
(Half Moon)
(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.
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.
 Traditional Kokeshi
Shinchi in Fukushima Prefecture, map courtesy of Shiqenobu AOKI-San @ http://aoki2.si.gunma-u.ac.jp/map/map.html