Dolls Rokuro-Kobo-Katase   ろくろ工房かたせ

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Front of the shop of handmade dolls.


Traditional Kokeshi doll maker.

Charming shop

Kokeshi, wooden dolls born in the Edo period, such as those proposed by the Rokuro-Kobo-Katase are among the most popular souvenirs for visitors to Japan.

In his kokeshi, handmade doll, store, Mr. Katase perpetuates a tradition, which is almost one hundred and fifty years old.

Having appeared towards the end of the Edo period (1603-1868) in the Tohoku region in northeastern Japan, the kokeshi were used as toys for children or were distributed at the exit of onsen - hot springs. Their chubby faces and barrel-shaped bodies, which are very simple, once symbolized the good health of the child who was playing with it.

The wooden parts are carved and painted and then covered with a wash of varnish or a layer of wax. As a sign of love or friendship or purchased as a decorative items, they mainly play the role of ancestors to Kimidolls, a model that is much more modern - and industrial - very popular throughout the world. Video game fans will see some resemblance to the "Mii" avatars of the Nintendo Wii, of which the developer, Miyamoto Shigeru, has confided were inspired by them .

Between classic designs and modern reproductions Mr. Katase welcomes young and old in his pleasant store, for an authentic souvenir that the toy industry, has however, already copied!

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