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Traditional Kokeshi dolls are handcrafted wooden Japanese Kokeshi Japanese Theme toys with round heads and slender, cylindrical, limbless bodies. The heads are usually attached to the bodies with a small round peg as a neck. The traditional dolls are produced only in the Tohiku region of northern Japan. Kokeshi dolls originated during the Edo period (1600 to 1868). The distinctive floral kimono patterns and other designs indicate the area in which the maker(s) live and are passed along from generation to generation of kokeshi artisans.
The dolls are carved by skilled Japanese "Kijiya" (meaning wood turners or woodworkers) from seasoned cherry wood, Mizuko (dogwood) and Itaya-kaede (Japanese Maple). The doll shapes are created on wood turning machines in the same way furniture legs and spindles are carved.
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