Saturday, November 1, 2008

Kokeshi Doll Column No.5

The Secret Birth Story of Kokeshi Dolls (Part 1)

When, where and how did Kokeshi Dolls are born?

The answers are still cloaked in the mystery.
As a result, there are many talks about these mysteries.
Followings are some examples of these mysteries…

At first, about the time when Kokeshi Dolls are born.
It is saying that Kokeshi dolls were born in late EDO period (1603-1867).

Next, about the birth place of Kokeshi Dolls. There are 2 major theories.
“Remaining Theory” – There are many kinds of wooden dolls in Japan but only Kokeshi Dolls are remaining.
“Native Theory” – These wooden dolls were born only in Tohoku area originally.

At last, the reason why people make Kokeshi Dolls. There are also 2 major theories.
“Originated in Toy” – The theory that Kokeshi dolls were made as toys for children and girls.
“Originated in Belief” – The theory that Kokeshi dolls were made as objects for people’s belief.

In any case, there are so mysteries about birth stories of Kokeshi Dolls.

It is sure that the model of Kokeshi Doll, ‘Kiboko’ was existed.
Kiboko was very useful to people lived in Tohoku area.

Actually we are not sure when Kiboko was born either.
Some people say 300 years ago, some people say 1,000 years ago.
The quality of Kiboko was completely different from Kokeshi.
It was just shaved wood that shaped was like human.
This is my personal opinion but Kiboko has only meaning as a toy.

Kokeshi Dolls were created from Kiboko gained the techniques of using lathe.
In NARUKO, it is said that these techniques were brought by HAKONE “Kijishi”.
This happened in about middle of EDO period (1830-1840).
Kijishi are the person who made many kinds of products from wood.
They wandered in Japan to search materials, woods.

Kijishi in Tohoku!!This was the turning point of the birth of Kokeshi Dolls.

To Be Continued…

No comments: