Among the kokeshis in our collection, a group of Yamagata kokeshis 山形系こけし by Mr. Shida Kikuhiro 志田菊宏さん has recently caught my eye. Mr. Shida's kokeshis show superlative craftsmanship, from the lathing to the painting, and his faces are exquisite -- somehow he makes them look quite lifelike. I remember casually liking his kokeshis, but I'm not sure how I failed to notice such superior work until now. Furthermore, I've noticed two things about his kokeshis that I'm pretty sure are unique among Yamagata kokeshis. First, he makes at least some of his kokeshis such as the first one below where the head and body are connected, something usually only seen in Tsugaru 津軽 and Kijiyama kokeshis 木地山系こけし. Secondly, Mr. Shida paints a line of hair on the back of his heads (shown in the images at the bottom), which I have not seen seen on other kokeshis. I hope you enjoy his work as much as I do.