When I set my sights on visiting Sendai, one of the reasons was Kokeshi. You may already know that Kokeshi are wooden dolls, but their original purpose remains unknown. It is believed they first appeared during the later Edo Period, from 1603 - 1868.
According to the supplied literature there are ten different styles of Kokeshi - all created in the Tohoku region exclusively - and five styles produced in Miyagi Prefecture: Narugo, Togatta, Yagiro, Sakunami, and Hijiori.
I made my selection purely on size and looks. For about 800 yen I purchased a Kokeshi from a working artist in the gift shop near Aoba Castle. I also stopped at Shimanuki Honten in downtown Sendai. There I found a Kokeshi meant to represent Date Masamune! I was very pleased.
The store carries a comprehensive variety of Kokeshi in an array of sizes, styles, and prices. Kokeshi are charming examples of Tohoku folk art and a good souvenir of my trip.
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