Kokeshi

Kokeshi are wooden folkcraft dolls sold as souvenir at hot spring areas in Northeastern Japan originating in the Edo period. Currently, there are 11 different styles of Kokeshi dolls in the Northeastern region and each vary by shape and pattern.

Styles of Kokeshi

  • Tsugaru style
  • Nanbu style
  • Kijiyama style
  • Naruko style
  • Yamagata style
  • Sakunami style
  • Togatta style
  • Yajiro style
  • Tsuchiyu style
  • Zao style
  • Hijiori style
kokeshi style

History of Tsugaru Kokeshi

The foundation for the style of Tsugaru kokeshi was established by a man named Hidetaro Mori, who added his unique style to the local kokeshi around 1914. This style spread around Nuruyu Hot Spring and became known in Kuroishi city, Aomori.

Colors and Shape of Tsugaru Kokeshi

Tsugaru kokeshi features an okappa hairstyle (bob cut), a wider bottom, and a curved torso.
You can find various patterns on the kokeshi dolls; some with drawings of the Aomori Nebuta summer festival, others have the image of a peony, the flower used in the insignia of Tsugaru clan.
Tsugaru Kokeshi, born in the snowy climate of Tsugaru, are highly valued throughout Japan for their traditional beauty and simple colors.

kokeshiTsugaru Kokeshi

Make Your Original “Tsugaru Kokeshi” (Kokeshi Decorating Experience)

Tsugaru Kokeshi Museum

*Reservation required.
Please inquire for more information.

  • Reservations must be made for a minimum of two people.
  • Please make the reservation 10 days prior to the day of your visit.
Address 72-1 Toyama Fukuro Kuroishi City, Aomori 036-0412 (MAP)
Tel 0172-54-8181
Price For one person 1,200 yen (tax included)
URL http://tsugarukokeshi.com/event.html
Experience Kokeshi Decoratingkokeshi

4000 Kokeshi Doll Collection and the Largest Kokeshi of Japan

4000 Kokeshi Doll Collection

4000 Kokeshi Doll Collection

Amongst the exhibited kokeshi, you will find many decorated by famous individuals.

  • Shinzo Abe (90th Prime Minister of Japan)
  • Momoko Sakura (Cartoonist)
  • Tsurutaro Kataoka (Actor, TV personality)
  • Seiichi Sakurada (Composer)
  • Yuichiro Miura (Professional skier, Mountaineer)
  • Atsushi Magonai(Crayon Artist)
kokeshi decorated by famous individuals
Adults High School Students Junior High/Elementary
School Students
One person 320 yen 270 yen 160 yen
Group Admission
(15 people and up)
270 yen 210 yen 100 yen

Largest Kokeshi of Japan

The jumbo kokeshi was made entirely from one tree, a 350-year old katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) tree from Nishimeya town, Aomori prefecture.
Alongside the largest kokeshi of Japan, a wooden daruma, a tumbling doll, made from a 330-year old Aomori hiba (white cedar) tree is also in exhibition.

Weight 1,600kg
Height 4.2195m
Body Circumference 4.6m
Largest Kokeshi of Japan

Tsugaru Kokeshi Museum

Address 72-1 Toyama Fukuro Kuroishi City, Aomori 036-0412 (MAP)
TEL 0172-54-8181

Finding Your Favorite Kokeshi Craftsman

kokeshi

Unlike the other regions of kokeshi craftsmanship where apprentice system is strictly observed, the Tsugaru style kokeshi leaves room for each craftsman to apply their own vision and ingenuity. For that reason, you will find that there are many different kokeshi dolls in Tsugaru.
Try to find your favorite kokeshi during your visit!

Tsugaru Kokeshi Museum

Address 72-1 Toyama Fukuro Kuroishi City, Aomori 036-0412 (MAP)
TEL 0172-54-8181
Open /Closed 9:00~17:00(December ~ End of March: 16:00)・None
Access Ride the Konan Bus Nurukawa Line (via Itadome) from Konan railway “Kuroishi Eki Mae” to “Tsugaru Kokeshi Museum”.

Abo Kokeshi Shop

Address 34-3 Hanamaki Kuroishi City, Aomori 036-0413 (MAP)
TEL 0172-54-8865
Open /Closed 8:00~16:00 /Irregular
Access Ride the Konan Bus Nurukawa Line (via Itadome) from Konan railway “Kuroishi Eki Mae” to “Hanamaki”. Walk 5 minutes.

Crafts Shop Okuse

Address 1-51 Sakunoki Kuroishi City, Aomori 036-0333 (MAP)
TEL 0172-52-4385
Access Ride the Konan Bus “Hirosaki-Kuroishi-Okawara Line” from Konan railway “Kuroishi Eki Mae” to “Kuroishi Middle School”. Walk 5 minutes.

Kitayama Crafts Studio

Address 152-6 Kawai Aseishi Kuroishi City, Aomori 036-0343 (MAP)
TEL 0172-52-5959
URL http://www.h4.dion.ne.jp/~moriharu/index.html
Access Board the Konan Bus “Onoe line” (via Kogano) at the Konan railway Kuroishi station, and get off at “Shimo Asaseishi” stop. Walk 5 minutes.
OR
Ride the “Puratto Go” Kuroishi city Excursion Bus (Chitose, Southern Route) from the Konan railway Kuroishi Station, to “Nakagawa” stop. Walk 10 minutes.