The Making of a Japanese Kokeshi Doll is Oddly Satisfying to Watch


There are a lot of benefits that come with new technology, but sometimes the “old school” methods have a charm to them. Take this video uploaded by tetotetote’s for example. The 4 minute video shows the making of a Japanese kokeshi doll from start to finish. And no, this isn’t your ordinary sort of doll making and it definitely isn’t factory machines cranking out plastic dolls.

Set against gorgeous piano music, the 400-year old Japanese craft turns a wooden doll into an art form. These figurines, often sold as keepsakes to hot spring visitors who pass through Northern Japan, range in different styles but maintain the trademark enlarged head and no arms or legs.

Tetotetote’s aim is to highlight the arts in Sendai, Japan and it certainly accomplishes that mission as it shows maker Yasuo Okazaki creating a kokeshi doll. The head and body are made with few tools and spun in a natural movement. Okazaki’s “Naruko” style is a practice passed down from father to son for generations. The stripes are then formed with a stroke of brush, and red headdresses and bangs fluidly appear when he decorates freehand.

With gorgeous acoustics (the spinning block of wood) and calming aesthetic (the wood shavings are chaos but the setting is still and in focus), blocks of wood take life in these creations of dedication.