Art · Culture · Non-Fiction

Kokeshi: From Tohoku with Love by Manami Okazaki

What is it about?

This is sort of a kokeshi Bible – a must-have for any kokeshi fanatic (like myself), or anyone simply interested in Japanese culture for that matter. But what is a kokeshi? A kokeshi is a traditional Japanese doll made of wood on a lathe with intricate painted-on designs, sort of resembling Russian stacking dolls. Kokeshi: From Tohoku with Love, illustrated with beautiful photography, describes the production of these darling dolls as well as the culture surrounding them, featuring twenty-three interviews with the master craftsmen (and women) who make these symbolic little ladies.

Is it any good?

I adored reading this book! The guide to the eleven different types of kokeshi is illustrated with little cartoons that really tickled me – similarly, the photography displayed in this book is exhibition worthy. The way the interviews and text are written is totally immersive and really easy to read. Whether you are a kokeshi aficionado or you don’t even know how to pronounce the word, Kokeshi: From Tohuko with Love is a great little read.

 Rating: 9.5/10

How long did it take to read: three days

For fans of: kokeshi dolls, Japanese culture, Kyoto: City of Zen by Judith Clancy, magazines

This book tastes of: hard-boiled eggs


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