Even if you’ve never heard the term Kokeshi Doll, you probably know what one is or have seen one before. They’re the adorable, limbless Japanese wooden dolls that you probably didn’t know are created from scratch out of a single piece of wood even though they paradoxically have moving parts!
Kokeshi have fallen out of popularity in recent years as Barbie and her giant boobs eat up market share – Kokeshi dolls are, by nature of their manufacturing method, pretty flat chested – but they’re starting to gain momentum as popular souvenirs and tourist take-homes.
Unlike Barbie and her ilk, however, these toys are individually produced with great care by artisans who commonly come from a lineage of doll makers. Barbie, on the other hand, was spawned from a boardroom full of middle-aged men obsessed with plastic breasts.
Here’s a video of the Kokeshi doll-making process: