In this video by Te to Te to Te, artisan Yasuo Okazaki, known for his signature Naruko Kokeshi style, demonstrates how he crafts the dolls from spinning blocks of wood, how they are shaped, then fitted together before the paint is painstakingly applied. Okazaki learned the Naruko style from his father, who trained him in the craft. Te to Te to Te also offers an online guide to the different Kokeshi dolls that come from all over Japan.

The Naruko style of Kokeshi developed at Naruko hot springs. One of the unique characteristics of these Kokeshi is that their heads squeak when turned. They have kind faces and flared shoulders and skirts. The stripes at the top and bottom of the body are painted on the lathe, and the body is often painted with a chrysanthemum motif. The bangs are painted like the dolls sent as gifts from the Imperial Palace. Naruko Kokeshi wear a red headdress.


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