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Collection Tier:
Tier 2

Decorative Arts ➔ Kokeshi

This creative kokeshi has a kappa hairstyle with a top knot and red hair ornament. The kimono features carved floral designs and it has a black three-dimensional umbrella. A red Japanese seal on the underside translates to "Miyashita Hajime" who was the artist.

Kokeshi are wooden dolls lacking arms or legs that were first produced in the Tohuku region of Japan. They were originally intended to be used as children's toys however they have become popular among collectors and are often used as decoration. Kokeshi can be categorized into two groups, traditional and creative. Traditional dolls are simple in design and are divided into eleven different types that coincide with the area they were created. These types have particular shapes and designs to help distinguish them. Creative kokeshi were first produced after World War II and feature unique designs, shapes, and colors that are not found in their traditional counterparts. 
circa 1950 – 1980
5" h 5.5" w 12" d; 9.75" h 4" w 4" d
Gift of Etta M. Hesselink

Etta M. Hesselink
Etta Hesselink and her husband John served the Reformed Church as missionaries and teachers in Japan from 1953 to 1973, and they and their five children all developed a deep appreciation for Japanese art and culture. 

Miyashita Hajime
Miyashita Hajime (宮下 はじめ) was born in Maebashi, Japan in 1940. He is an artist well-known for making kokeshis and has won many awards for his creations. 

In Japan, family names, or last names, are often listed first when written and given names, or first names, are written last. 

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