TSURUKAME – NARUKO NEKOKESHI - Cute and simple, palm-size cat dolls that originated in Naruko, Japan.

TSURUKAME

The “TSURUKAME” design pattern has a special significance in Japan, and my grandmother would use it for making Kokeshi gifts for special persons. She lived in the snowy mountains of Naruko during a tough period of war, when she painted the Kokeshi dolls for a living. She continued to support her family of four children by painting the dolls. I have occasionally seen her use the “TSURUKAME” design in her entire lifespan of 97 years. Tsuru (crane) and Kame (turtle) are considered auspicious in Japan as they symbolize longevity. This special pattern denotes my grandmother’s wish that the receiver of this doll be blessed with a long and healthy life, and hence makes this doll a perfect gift for one’s treasured moments like marriage and child birth. What better gift than this to express your gratitude towards your parents and grandparents?

Etsy

「鶴亀」のこけしは、祖母が大切なひとへのおくりものとして描いた、とくべつな絵柄です。祖母は、きびしい戦時を経て雪ぶかい鳴子の山の中に居を構え、こけしの絵付けで暮らしをたてました。職人として鳴子こけしを描きつづけ、四人のこどもたちを育てあげた九十七年の生涯のなかで、ときおり、祖母は鶴亀のこけしを描きました。この絵柄には、おくる相手にいつまでも元気でいてほしいという祖母の願いがこめられています。繁栄と長寿を象徴する鶴亀の鳴子ネコケシは、結婚や出産のお祝いに、ご両親や祖父母への感謝をこめたプレゼントにもぴったりです。

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