For anyone who knows the serenity of woodworking, this video hailing from northern Japan of mastercraftsman Yasuo Ozakazaki at work in his shop, could be the most relaxing thing you're likely to see today.
Kokeshi dolls are a traditional of Japanese handcraft—a simple limbless doll made from two pieces of wood, and apparently the inspiration behind the design of 'Mii' characters for the Nintendo Wii. (The figures have also risen to prominence in the global design world in recent weeks with the news that the Boureullec brothers have reinterpreted the doll's design as part of an initiative to get local craftspeople back on their feet, following the devastation caused by the Fukushima disaster.)Japanese mastercraftsmanship at its finest, Yasuo Okazaki, now in his sixities, has been making the dolls for decades having learnt the technique from his father after graduating from high school. Set to a delightful classical melody, the video is a beautiful documentation of the process of producing one doll, complete with some mouthwatering close-ups of the skillful on-lathe painting (1:22) and the joining of head and body with some lathe-powered friction (1:42).
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