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approximate size: height 46cm
these wooden treasures first appeared in the mid edo period (1603-1867). while there remains some discussion regarding their origins, it is most commonly believed that they were originally crafted as toys by wood craftsman from northern japan who were unable to work for months at a time during heavy snow in the winter.
following the devastation of wwii, products made of plastic were too expensive and overseas trips were unattainable. japanese frequently made trips all over japan to hot springs where kokeshi, which were now sold as tourist souvenirs (rather than toys) flourished. it became a custom to buy a kokeshi or two as a momento of the trip.
this particular kokeshi doll is from the 1950's. unfortunately, they are rapidly disappearing in modern japan making them all the more precious.