This pair of small kokeshi dolls represents a boy and a girl. They dolls are a variation on the traditional kokeshi form, with round heads and bodies, but no arms or legs, as is typical. The heads are joined to the bodies by a dowel, and can swivel around. The boy (a) is dressed in a painted green kimono jacket with black and white decorative embellishments. His hair and facial features are also painted. The girl (b) is dressed in a painted red kimono jacket with black, green, pink, and white decorative embellishments. Her hair and facial features are also painted. Her hair is 'tied' in a top-knot, a bulge on top of her head, and has a red and white hair tie.
Kokeshi are traditional Japanese dolls distinctive for their lack of arms and legs. Kokeshi are often painted red and black, occasionally with yellow as well. They originated as souvenirs for visitors to the hot springs of the Tohoku region in northern Japan during the Edo period (1600-1868), and there are several distinct types according to size, shape, facial details, and so on, each associated with a different onsen (hot spring) of that area. Most kokeshi are signed and dated on the base.