Aomori: Bring in new year with a roar
11:30 JST, January 18, 2022
KUROISHI, Aomori — Artisan Masafumi Abo works day after day to carve kokeshi wooden dolls of this year’s Zodiac sign, the tiger.
“I really hope this can be a good year in which we can beat the coronavirus pandemic,” said Abo, 38, who makes Tsugaru kei kokeshi at the Tsugaru Kokeshi Kan museum in Kuroishi, Aomori Prefecture.
“Usually, I try to make the kokeshi look cute, but this year I wanted to make ones that look fierce,” Abo said.
The kokeshi set features a parent and cub baring their fangs, and they seem to project a hint of humor and cuteness alongside strength.
The tiger kokeshi set is so popular that orders made in early January cannot be sent to customers until possibly February, a museum employee said.
Each set costs ¥3,300 (including tax) and can be ordered from the museum’s website.
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