Japanmuseum Sieboldhuis

Rapenburg 19, Leiden


Japanmuseum Sieboldhuis

23 June-3 September - Tōhoku Girls. Kokeshi dolls from Japan

This summer Japanmuseum Sieboldhuis will host approximately three hundred traditional wooden dolls from Japan. These pretty ‘kokeshi’, with their brightly painted clothes and expressive faces, were all hand-made in the north-east of Japan, in a region of volcanic mountains,  hotsprings and forests called Tohoku.



These dolls are widely collected for their simple charm and the variety of character shown in their different facial expressions. There are several kokeshi museums in Japan with very large collections  but few really old dolls survive, and the ones in this exhibition were all made in the 20th century. There are currently about 150 kokeshi artisans  and during the exhibition a film will be shown of one famous maker,  demonstrating how these special dolls are made.