Gunma is the top producer of original kokeshi dolls in the country. Mr. Yoshida left a
textile design firm to study kokeshi-making under Inosuke Kobayashi (Ohmama-cho). In the
All Gunma Kokeshi Contest held in Maebashi in January, 1992, he again won the Prime
Minister's Prize for his work, 'Distance' ('Yuu').
"The Tohoku region's traditional kokeshi were born out of the landscape of
Tsugaru, Nanbu, tohgattakei and so on. Original kokeshi come from the freedom of the
maker. I want to make original dolls of the same quality as the traditional ones",
says Mr. Yoshida.
"There are people who say that making kokeshi is a waste of trees, that it
damages the natural environment. Because I make the wood work, I am an ally of trees and
nature. I want to produce work at least as beautiful as a tree's annual ring."