OMG this is so beautiful!!!
I interviewed this artisan (Yasuo Okazaki) for the kawaii book. I fell in love with these dolls from this interview and studio visit, and went on to make a whole book on them. This video captures the atmosphere and charm of these simple dolls, and the mesmerizing process of making them.
The kokeshi book has done well, I'm really grateful! It'd be super great if you could get one for Xmas (& the proceeds are for Tohoku revival)
They are so painfully affordable, (amazon, please stop dropping the price...) and I have an announcement soon regarding proceeds for Tohoku :))))
Also, the Japan Times Hello Kitty article has been redesigned. They dropped some of the content and the photos, but the full page design looks amazing -- I think it is the first time they have done this really cool scroll feature.