Kokeshi Dolls – The Ultimate Japanese Themed Christmas Gift


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.

Just How Amazing Pressure Washers Are?

pressure washing

How do you keep clean? How do you keep things around you look brand new?

It’s cool outside! How do you take the idea of relaxing and communing with nature, free of worries, and anything negative? As much as we want to, but the dried grass clippings, mud, and blistered paint halt your fancies. Oh, my! You still have to do the cleaning and all it takes to be organized and polished. A magnificent pressure washer may help. As you do it, don’t forget to read more on pressure washers to ease your burden.

Pressure washing can be a hassle if the machine you use is not worth  your trust and money. Help yourself especially if no one will do it for you. Using the perfect pressure washer is worth more than 10 heads working.

Always choose your best power washer with an equally best price.  A pressure washer is an awesome piece of equipment designed to help you cleaning things around your home. A clean surrounding is a piece of heaven so to speak. Indeed, it is. Our home is a place where we relax and unwind. The relaxing mode can be drastically changed to a “beast mode” if everything around you is filth and dirt. Worry no more because pressure washers are always on full blast to help you clean. Just do the maneuvering and it can help you in a multitude of ways.

pressure washing

Now, gaze at the exterior siding of your house. Does it need ultimate cleaning? A sigh is not accepted. You can pressure wash it and at the same time soap it off so it will look shiny and new.

Then, check your grimy grills for they may need a wonderful bath so they would look awesome in the spring.

What about your garage door and driveway? They may look very old and grimy now. Pressure washing them will invite more friends into your seat of heaven.

As you soap and bathe your grills and bricks, don’t forget to perfume your best buddy, your car. Keep it shiny and always look new.  Oooops! Don’t take for granted your outdoor furniture. They need pressure cleaning as much as the others in the house do. Pressure Cleaning is quick and easy. No hassle for the majestic pressure washer will do it for you. Just relax and everything will always be brand new.


Main Kinds of the 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).