Christmas is quickly approaching, so the other day Naoko pulled out our collection of Christmas kokeshis. I must say that traditional kokeshis in general are surprisingly appropriate during the holiday season. I'm not sure why that is; perhaps because the colors are often red and green? Regardless, we have found that the smaller ones also make great tree ornaments.
I've shown our seasonal kokeshis in the past (see posts from Dec 2011 and Dec 2012), and it's amazing how clever Japanese craftsman have been with creating Santas and other Christmas figures. Anyway, as you'll see below that Naoko has added some new kokeshis to our collection that really express the Yuletide spirit.
The first one is a delightful Santa by Mr. Hiraga Teruyuki 平賀輝幸さん from Sakunami Onsen 作並温泉 in Miyagi Prefecture. Mr. Hiraga has been a real pioneer with Christmas kokeshis, and while they veer somewhat into the realm of modern kokeshis, I would argue that his creations still retains enough recognizable Sakunami elements as to be classified as traditional. Moreover, the shape of this Santa is similar to a Daruma kokeshi, so there's that element as well.
|This is very obviously a Hiraga kokeshi.|
|Front view. That's a real cloth towel by the way.|
|Here's the back view, with the flower pattern giving away it traditional Sakunami roots. The head swivels by the way.|
|Hey, there's something inside!|
|Two acorn-style tops with traditional kokeshi faces -- fantastic!|