AB 85-31


  • AB 73-1 Hairdressing doll (in box)
  • AB 82-30 and AB 82-31 Minzoku ningyo (front)
  • AB 739 a,b Tongue-Cut Sparrow dolls (front)
  • AB 62-2 s4 Geisha Doll
  • AB 56-4 c Yamabushi Doll (front)
  • 2010.9.1-2 Egg Dolls
  • 2009.102.1 Miharu ningyo (front)
  • AB 85-23 Kokeshi (front)
  • 2013.XX.30 a Kokeshi (front)
  • AB XX 177 a-b Kokeshi pair
  • AB 89-10 Izumeko
  • AB XX 170 Okagura Ningyo Set (wearing kitsune mask)
  • AB 75-2 Kintaro Doll
  • AB 85-31 Kokeshi (front)
  • AB 658 a Ichimatsu ningyo (front)
  • AB 86-8 a Doll (front)
  • AB 57-1 Fuji Musume Doll (front)
  • AB 56-2 Front
  • 2009.72.1.1 Isho-Ningyo Costume Doll (front)
  • 2009.132.1 Anesama Ningyo (front)
  • AB 85-14 Kokeshi (front)
  • AB 85-26 Kokeshi
  • AB 85-33 Kokeshi (front)
  • 2009.108.1 Kintaro Doll

Kokeshi Did you know?

What is it?
Kokeshi Doll
What is it made of?
Where is it from?
Tōhoku, Japan
When was it made?
Object ID
AB 85-31

This kokeshi doll is a traditional Japanese wooden doll consiting of only a head and a body.  This particular doll is of the Nakanosawa group, a subset of the Tsuchiyu type. It features a long, thin body that is slightly convex and a very large head with a flat top. There are thin red, purple, and aquamarine bands at the waist with superimposed red jagged lines. Two large, red peonies outlined in black adorn the front. The back features a peony bud and petal. The face is painted with two very large double-lidded, surprised eyes surronded by a red blush, a lion-like nose, and a small red mouth. The top features a black cap with two thin green lines and a colorless center; red ribbons drape from the edge of the cap to the back and sides of the head.

Kokeshi are traditional Japanese dolls distinctive for their lack of arms and legs. Kokeshi are often painted red and black, occasionally with yellow as well. They originated as souvenirs for visitors to the hot springs of the Tōhoku region in northern Japan during the Edo period (1600-1868). There are several distinct types of kokeshi according to size, shape, facial details, and so on, each associated with a different onsen (hot spring) of that area. Most kokeshi are signed and dated on the base.

Tsuchiyu is a hot spring resort near Fukushima, Japan. Tsuchiyu kokeshi dolls typically have lathe-drawn lines on the body and very seldom feature additional floral patterns. They are also known for their double-lidded eyes, small heads with slender bodies, and red bow and loop at the temples. This doll is derived from the Tsuchiyu type.  The Nakanosawa Group dolls have very large, surprised eyes with blushes around them, and large lion-like noses. Their heads are relatively much larger than their bodies, their decoration has more empty space and flowers, and the red loops on the sides of the head extend beyond the temples to the back of the head.

Donated by Yoshio Uemura, 1983.
AB 85-31 Kokeshi (front)