Being the Japan fanatic that I am, I’ve always wanted to have my own Kokeshi doll. Many years ago, Ate Grace (a senpai at PMS) told me of this doll she bought in Japan. It is made of something like paulownia wood and is meticulously hand painted. I did a quick Google search because I thought it sounded exquisite and I knew I had to have one someday.
Kokeshi (こけし), are Japanese dolls, originally from northern Japan. They are handmade from wood, have a simple trunk and an enlarged head with a few thin, painted lines to define the face. The body has a floral design painted in red, black, and sometimes yellow, and covered with a layer of wax. One characteristic of kokeshi dolls is their lack of arms or legs. The bottom is marked with the signature of the artist. - Wikipedia
Last year, my sister gifted me with a wooden doll that looks exactly like a kokeshi, only much smaller. It is called a Kimmidoll. On the website, it says that Kimmidolls are inspired from the kokeshi!
Kimmidolls come in 4 different sizes: Mini, Maxi, Extra Maxi and Extra Extra Maxi. Mine are all minis and a maxi doll is about 6-7 inches. There are over 100 dolls (and growing!), each one representing a virtue. My very first one is named Yoko, and she stands for positivism. The collector’s card that came in her box read:
Yoko‘Positive’My spirit brings happiness and success.Discover my power by focusing, in every situation, on what is possible, what you can do, and by always looking for benefits and opportunities no matter what life brings.
Before my sister came home from Dubai, I asked her to get me as many Kimmidolls as she could from the toy store as they were having a big sale. Now I have 10 and many more to go! Here are the girls:
Yoko – Positive
Sachi – Joy
Chizuru – Humility
Momoko – Peace
Yoshimi – Respectful
Aiko – Little Loved One
Naoko – Honest child
Kayo – Beautiful
Beni – Friendship
Mebae – Fertility (also the name of the Philippine Pavilion the Aichi Expo in Nagoya, Japan many years ago. My great teacher, Edwin Mojica-sensei came up with the name for the pavilion, and as far as I remember, the government did not give him a single peso for the idea. Gratis deshita. )
Aside from the kokeshi type, other Kimmidoll merchandise include keychains, mugs, stationery, iPhone and iPad covers, wallets, purses, luggage tags, tote bags, pouches, jewelry and so much more. I am guessing it would make a considerable dent on my wallet if I attempt to collect all of the dolls, AND get other items as well. What I did is to list down all of the names and cross them out as soon as I acquire different kinds of items. For example, I have already crossed out Mebae from my list and I will no longer get a doll (or any Mebae item) because I already own a keychain.
It might take longer for me to complete the collection because Kimmidoll is not sold widely in the Philippines. My friend May says she saw some at Rustan’s but I haven’t really seen them the last time I was there. I did get Mebae from Fully Booked (Bonifacio High Street) late last month but the staff did not know when they will be stocking again. Fortunately, I read the announcement on the Kimmidoll Philippines Facebook page and rushed to Fully Booked as soon as I had time. I managed to get a few nice ones!
Mizuki – Precious (cosmetic pouch)
Eika – Successful (keychain)
Tomoka – True Friend (notepad)
Saya – Affectionate (mini doll)
I just realized I only have black- and white-haired ones…all the more reason to get Chou — pink hair FTW!
I hope Kimmidoll Philippines will also bring more items — I am desperate for a tote bag, iPhone covers, and mugs. Yes, plural. Gotta catch them all!