Kokeshi are painted wooden dolls that originate from the Tōhoku region of north-eastern Japan. They are thought to have been first made towards the end of the Edo period (1603-1868 CE) and were hand-crafted by local craftspeople as toys for children and souvenirs for visitors to the hot spring mountain villages.

With March 2021 marking the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan House London offered an insight into craftsmanship from the Tōhoku through an online demonstration from a kokeshi workshop in Tōgatta in Miyagi Prefecture. Under the guidance of kijishi (woodturner) Satō Yasuhiro, participants learned about kokeshi and the techniques and patterns that have been handed down over the generations from master to apprentice.