Since Dave was leaving this morning he decided to give me my Mother's Day gift since he would not be here. He got me a Kokeshi doll that says Happy Mother's Day on it and Jacob got me one that is holding a baby. I love them.
Traditional Kokeshi began to be made approximately two hundred years ago sometime in the middle of the Edo period. (1603-1867) The dolls emerged out of local life and culture and were first produced in the north east area of Japan known as the Tohoku region. It is commonly thought that woodwork artisans of the time know as Kijiya, (which means woodworker in Japanese) originally specialized in wooden household utensils such as trays and bowls. Then they began to make small dolls in the winter to sell to the tourists who came to bathe in the many onsens (hot springs) near their villages. The few people who could afford the luxury of such a pastime bought the Kokeshi dolls as a souvenir and took the dolls back to their own areas where they were often passed on to the children. This, they thought, would promise a good harvest, as it was believed that it would create a positive impression on the gods if children played with the dolls.