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Kokeshi are painted wooden dolls from the Tōhoku region in north-eastern Japan. It is thought they were first made in the late Edo period (1603-1868 C. E.) by local craftspeople as toys for children and souvenirs for visitors to hot spring towns. Today, various kokeshi have developed in the Tōhoku region, characterized by different shapes and patterns. Other contemporary ‘creative’ kokeshi can be found all over Japan. Some believe kokeshi have the power to protect children from harm, ward off evil and even host human spirits.

Download your kokeshi template and choose from three different kokeshi from the Tōhoku region. Design one, two or all three in whatever manner you like - digitally, via your favourite design software, or print off the templates and paint, colour or draw your designs.

Download worksheet