In mid-November, I attended the Kokeshi Festival in Koenji (southwestern Tokyo). Many vintage doll collections were for sale, as well as modern items with kokeshi doll designs, such as, tenugui, letter sets, pochi bukuro (mini envelopes), t-shirts, etc.So many cute products are now produced with kokeshi designs; of course, paper goods, like stationery sets, but even washi tape with a kokeshi pattern is now available.
Kokeshi and wooden, lathe toys are a big part of my personal collection. I am so tickled to see that there has been a resurgence of interest in the world of kokeshi-another traditional folk art of Japan like paper.
The major tradtional kokeshi production area is Tohoku; North East Japan; This is the center where the major disasters occurred on March 11th. By supporting these lathe artists they will be deterred from abandoning their home and craft passed down from previous generations. The kokeshi makers need our encouragement and support to continue producing these special, wooden toys.
This map below shows 6 Prefectures of Tohoku, the North East region of Japan; Fukushima Prefecture on the left and Aomori Prefecture on the top right.