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In celebration of Children's Day, we are launching a kokeshi design competition over our social media channels - read below about how to be in with the chance of winning your very own kokeshi doll from Japan.

What are kokeshi?

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.

Read more about the history, variety and meanings of kokeshi, before designing your very own in our social media competition.

Design Your Own Kokeshi Competition

Design and share your own kokeshi to be in with the chance of winning your own kokeshi from Japan. There will be one prize for adults and one for children.

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.

To submit your design, take a picture of your completed work and upload to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #MyKokeshi and @japanhouseLDN. Alternatively, you can email a picture of your design to [email protected]

Submissions will be accepted until Monday 1 June 2020. Winners will be contacted directly by Japan House London, either over Direct Message on social media or via email. 

Good luck!