Kokeshi Dolls

Rather than giving the usual stack of CDs and DVDs, my family vowed to give more unusual gifts last Christmas. For my gift I received a series of 5 vintage kokeshi dolls all the way from Japan. Aren't they beautiful?

These simple statuesque figures are a traditional northern Japanese craft - with particular shapes and patterns being specific to certain areas of the country. I wish I knew which area these dolls originated from!

The bottom of some of the dolls are marked with the signature of the artist who created them. 

This little lady is quite special as she is known as a 'talking' kokeshi. She has an articulated neck and the squeaking noise made when her head moves gives her a 'voice'!