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Kijiyama Kokeshi By Abe Youko
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Kijiyama Kokeshi by Abe Youko

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It pleases me to have this Kokeshi because it was made by Abe Youko, one of the rare women Kokeshi makers. This is a 12" doll with a lovely face, who is aging well, with a few minor rubs and toning which only seems to highlight the grain of the wood nicely. The Kokeshi is Kijiyama style which means that it was made from a single block of wood and has a "defined" neck. Another characteristic which many of them have is an apron ("maekake" or "maedare") pattern on the body. There is calligraphy on the back which I believe includes the signature of Abe Youko. I am curious about the symbolism of the pine sprigs/needles and (presumably) plum flowers on the Kokeshi clothing. Pine stays green during winter and the plum blooms early, when winter is hardly over...which feels hopeful and positive, or maybe just a reference to winter. As my collection grows, so does my desire to know more about every aspect of it.