Purchasing Traditional Kokeshi Dolls

Purchasing Traditional Kokeshi Dolls


Kokeshi dolls are challenging to buy due to their limited handmade production. However, there are ways to acquire them. In this article, we’ll discuss where and how to buy traditional kokeshi dolls.


1. Contacting Kokeshi Craftsmen Directly:

Obtain contact information from a book released every few years.


Reach out to craftsmen via letters or calls (email addresses are usually not provided).

Popular craftsmen often don’t accept individual orders or may have a long waiting period.

This method can be challenging if you’re not fluent in Japanese and may not work if you’re outside Japan.

2. Participating in Kokeshi Events:

Attend kokeshi festivals in the Tohoku region.

 Examples include All Japan Kokeshi Festival (Miyagi,Osaki), All Japan Kokeshi Competition (Miyagi, Shiroishi), Togatta Kokeshi Festival (Miyagi, Zao), Yajiro Kokeshi Festival (Miyagi, Shiroishi), Tsuchiyu Kokeshi Festival (Fukushima), Nakanosawa Kokeshi Festival (Fukushima, Inawashiro), and Akita Kokeshi Competition (Akita, Yuzawa).

Akita Kokeshi Competition

3. Visiting Stores Selling Kokeshi:

Few stores permanently sell kokeshi, some listed with ★ are available online.

Note that some craftsmen may have shops in places like Naruko Onsen or Togatta Onsen.

Examples include Hiyane (Tokyo), Ginza Hakko Kinoka★ (Tokyo), Koke-shka Kamakura★ (Kanagawa), Hanamegane Shokai★ (Tochigi), Kokeshi no Shimanuki★ (Miyagi), Abe Hajime Kokeshi Shop(Akita), and Carol★ (Mie).

Abe Hajime Kokeshi Shop in Akita, Yuzawa

4. Exploring Kokeshi Museums:

Visit kokeshi museums in the Tohoku region, many of which also sell these dolls.

Examples include Japan Kokeshi Museum, Yajiro Kokeshi Village, and Zao Kokeshi Museum in Miyagi, Nishida Memorial Museum in Fukushima, and Tsugaru Kokeshi Museum in Aomori.

Nishida Kokeshi Memorial Museum (Fukushima)

5. Searching on Online Secondhand Markets:

Find numerous used kokeshi dolls on platforms like Yahoo! Japan Auctions and Mercari.

Proxy services allow purchasing from these platforms internationally.

eBay and Etsy also have secondhand kokeshi listings.

6. Shopping at Online Stores and Specialty Shops:

Explore online shops and specialty stores, like Kichijitsu Zakka Shop, which offers a variety of cute kokeshi dolls, including on eBay.

Kishijitsu Zakka shop


Feel free to explore these methods to add unique kokeshi dolls to your collection!

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