Watch This Beautiful 400-Year-Old Craft Emerge Before Your Eyes.

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Everyone loves instant gratification. There’s nothing better than watching your efforts pay off immediately. While this craft isn’t exactly instant, it’s sure fun to watch. In Sendai, Japan, Yasuo Okazaki creates traditional wooden kokeshi dolls from blocks of wood. He was filmed creating a doll by tetotetote, an organization promoting traditional crafts of the Sendai area. Watch Okazaki spin a doll out of seemingly nothing. It’s a treat to watch.

Kokeshi dolls were made in Japan for about 400 years, and originated as souvenirs for visitors to the hot springs in Northern Japan. They come in 10 different styles, but all feature a simple silhouette of a big, round head and a limbless cylindrical body. Faces, hair, and other designs are painted on.  

This is incredibly satisfying to watch. tetotetote This is incredibly satisfying to watch.

Okazaki creates kokeshi dolls in the “Naruko” style, which features a style described as “old-fashioned beauty.” They’re known for featuring stripes, as well as a hairdo with bangs and red hair ornaments. 

Details are painted on precisely, but still with a loose, flowing style. tetotetote Details are painted on precisely, but still with a loose, flowing style.

Okazaki learned the craft of creating kokeshi from blocks of wood, a few simple tools, and paint from his father. Under his careful hands, the blocks become these beautiful dolls. It looks effortless, but years of training went into learning to create these dolls. While it’s instant gratification for us to see the dolls emerge like magic from some plain blocks of wood, it took many years for Okazaki to get to this skill level. Hopefully he continues making these wonderful creations for years to come.

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