Kokeshi Dolls – The Ultimate Japanese Themed Christmas Gift

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What Is A Japanese Kokeshi Doll?

Christmas is fast approaching and for those doing their last minute shopping now is the time for an inspired idea. If you’re looking for a different present for a loved one this year; then a Japanese Themed Christmas Gift may be the answer to this.

Japanese culture is full of ideas and notions that are a lot different form our own culture, and one area of this is their fondness for items such a s lucky charms and lucky animals that have a lot of meaning tied to them. One such example of this is the Japanese Kokeshi Doll.

A Kokeshi doll is a wooden doll made from a simple trunk as the body and an enlarged head which has a simple design. The body is often decorated in a floral pattern and tends to be either red, yellow or black. One of the main characteristics that is most noticeable is that there are no arms and legs. The artists tend to leave their signature on the bottom of the doll.

Origins Of The Kokeshi Doll

Kokeshi Dolls are thought to originate from Northern Japan, and were first produced by kijishi artisans who were skilled at the use of a potter’s wheel in the Togotta Onsen area in Zao, and then spread to other spa areas in the Tohoku region. It’s thought the dolls first came around in the middle portion of the Edo period (from 1600 – 1868) to be so to people who were visiting the hot springs in the north eastern part of the country.

Traditional Kokeshi doll shapes and patterns are particular to a certain area and there are eleven classifications. The most dominant type of this is the Naruko style of Kokeshi doll, which comes from Miyagi Prefecture originally. The main street of the Naurko Onsen village is known as Kokeshi street and is full of shops operated by the carvers of the Kokeshi dolls.

Other Japanese Lucky Charms

Alongside the Kokeshi doll, there are a whole host of other lucky charms available such as:

Lucky cats – One of the most common Japanese Lucky Animals is the Japanese lucky cat – also known as the Maneki-neko this translates as ‘beckoning cat’. You may have encountered this in an Asian restaurant or shop (popular in both Japan and in China, as they are a symbol of luck), prosperity success and happiness. They tend to sit on top of the till or cash register waving good luck to customers. They come in a range of colours and always have a raised paw. Most Japanese Lucky Cats tend to have a bib, a collar and a gold coin which is decorated.

Lucky owls – Another popular Japanese lucky charm is the Japanese Lucky Owl (or in Japanese Fukurou) the Japanese owl symbolises luck and is thought to prevent a person from suffering. It is believed that different colours of lucky owl have different attributes when it comes to luck. Some Japanese owls also represent wisdom; however this is a less common belief in modern times and is thought to have been a popular notion in the Meijiperiod.

Kokeshi Dolls As A Christmas Gift

Japanese lucky charms make great Christmas gifts, as they are an interesting looking addition to a house, whether or not that is eastern themed or not. And also for those who believe in lucky charms and the benefits that surround them, then they will be greatly received.

Top 3 Best and Mind-blowing Anime You Couldn’t Afford to Miss

Do you know what anime is? Anime is an authentic style of Japanese film and animation. A very good Japanese animation! Have you watched anime before?

If not, that’s alright. If you are looking for an awesome anime you can watch, then look no more. We’ll give you some of the best and mind-blowing anime you could not afford to miss!

Shingeki No Kyojin (Attack on Titan)

Quick giants, flashy aerial moves, comedy, intense action, interesting plot, and even drama. Who wouldn’t love to see these in one anime?

Yeah, that’s right! That’s what Shingeki No Kyojin can offer. If you want to see yourself cry, be angry, and extremely shock over an anime, then this anime will perfectly suit your interest!

One Piece

Come aboard and sail with awesome pirates! This fine anime offers almost everything you can think of. It provides drama, action, powerful enemies, ships, and even twisted stuff! Each character has an interesting development of skills and power that will excite and shock you. In addition, watch out for the mind-blowing plot!

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist
It’s A Good Thing If You Have A Brother Made Out of Metal.

Expect powerful alchemy, transmutation, and even resurrection when you watch this. Before you watch this, prepare to cry – a lot! No, really. It’s a must watch anime. The extremely twisted plot, interesting characters, and heavy action.

A one of a kind anime you can’t afford to miss! The sadness and drama in this anime would make you feel bad and sad. But still, these what makes it one of the best anime existing.

So, how’s this list to you? Mind sharing an anime you can’t forget? If you have one, you can share it with us! These are some of the best anime’s you should watch. These anime will touch your heart and mind! Perfect anime’s to watch especially if you are new to watching anime.

Watching the amazing anime can be more enjoyable if you got snacks on your hand. Try chocolate, it’s the best!  What’s the difference between white chocolate and milk chocolate anyway? The color? Find out by clicking the link.

 

Hope you enjoyed our Anime talk. Join us again next time.

Main Kinds of the Kakejiku

Kakejiku

Usual Kakejiku

The usual kakejiku (hanging scroll) means a kakejiku, whose subject is perennial. It doesn’t mean that we can leave the kakejiku displayed for a long time, but that we can display it freely, regardless of the season.

The landscape, often called “sansui” (literally mountain and water), is one of the subjects of the usual kakejiku. “Suiboku-ga” (ink painting), the art of painting in just one color using “sumi” (Japanese ink), is not only for painting lines, but also for showing gradation through contrasting ink density and lighting. The landscape painting with sumi is called a “suiboku-sansui.”

Mt. Fuji has, since ancient times, long inspired many painters, because its magnificent image has long been worshiped all over Japan. When Mt. Fuji is tinted red by the sun’s rays, the image is called “Aka-Fuji” (Red Mt. Fuji). This superb view, which is rarely seen by most people, has long been considered a very lucky symbol. This is why a kakejiku of Aka-fuji is often displayed for New Year holidays as well as ordinary days, while other usual kakejiku are rarely displayed. (Most Japanese people want to have a happy New Year).

“Shikibana” means four flowers, each representing one of the four seasons. Shikibana is one of the subjects of the usual kakejiku. Although there is no special rule, a peony, which is considered the king of flowers in China, is usually positioned in the middle of the screen, with the other flowers encircling it.

The combination of bamboos and sparrows (called “take-ni-suzume”) has, since ancient times, long been considered a lucky symbol, so it is very popular in Japan.

The Japanese people admire the characteristics of bamboo: they grow straight and is flexible, yet is hard to break. They liken bamboo to the fortunes of a family, and hope that their family fortunes will not decline.
The sparrow breeds abundantly, so it has been considered a symbol of the prosperity of a family’s descendants.

The tiger or dragon is often painted, because their grand strength is believed to wards off evil spirits.

Seasonal Kakejiku

The four seasons are distinct in Japan, so the Japanese people value the sense of each season. They replace their kakejiku (hanging scrolls) depending on the season. This kind of kakejiku is called “kisetsu-gake” (seasonal kakejiku).