In May of this year I visited Miyagi Prefecture and wrote a post here about the humble beginnings of my kokeshi collection. At the time of course I pretty much knew zilch about kokeshi - I simply liked the look of the craft. Since then, however, I have made the effort to educate myself. To that end I purchased two books dedicated to the art of kokeshi.
Kokeshi: From Tohoku with Love by Manami Okazaki is concerned primarily with the production of kokeshi and contains interviews with twenty kokeshi craftspersons who live and work in the Tohoku region.
Kokeshi Book by Yousuke Jikuhara is a delightful pictorial filled with examples of the varying kokeshi styles. Although nearly all the text is Japanese, the artists' names are printed in English.
I found the most information about kokeshi on a blog called "Kokeshi Adventures." It is written by a kokeshi aficionado named John who has traveled across Japan visiting kokeshi artists, onsens, shops, and museums, and attending special kokeshi events.
He has a real treasure trove of knowledge within his pages. If you are interested in this charming folk art, I recommend reading John's blog. And if you are visiting Japan this September of 2015, the biggest and longest-running kokeshi festival in Japan will be held at Naruko Onsen in Miyagi Prefecture on September 4th, 5th, and 6th.
Buy original Kokeshi from Japan
Inside Track Japan For Kindle