In Japan, on the winter solstice, known as Tōji (冬至), there is a tradition for public hot baths (sento) and hot springs resorts (onsen) to throw yuzu fruits into the water, releasing the scent of citrus into the steam. On the shortest day of the year, with the coldest months still to come, it is believed that bathing in yuzu infused water will help to ward off illness in the coming year. A yuzu bath is called a ‘yuzuyu’ or ‘yuzuburo’ and warms both the body and mind at a time when it is especially needed, and also helps to soothe the skin.
This wood girl is dressed in a sashiko stitch inspired yukata ready for her hot bath, and is balancing her little washtub (complete with copper leaf banding) on her head, with yuzu bobbing around inside.
My pieces are painted in a naïve and simple style, with visible brush strokes and differing paint consistencies. It is important to note that these dolls are made from real wood which will have naturally occurring markings and grain, and sometimes there will be small amount of bleeding along the grain, which is to be expected when using untreated wood - please make sure you consult the pictures carefully before purchasing. She has been finished in a top coat of matt acrylic.
A note about 'Wood Girls'
My wooden girls are turned from lime or linden wood by a production turner and then hand painted in the U.K. by me, a British artist, exploring patterns and scenes encountered by me on my travels and in daily life. They were inspired by the kokeshi dolls made in Japan, and with every new purchase I include a leaflet explaining a little about the history of kokeshi in Japan and how they are made. I prefer to call mine 'wood girls' to distinguish them from the traditional folk craft of Japan, but they are very much in the spirit of kokeshi.
Stamped underneath with ‘nakamura’ characters [中村] in red ink.
Approximately 19cm high.
Please note: THIS IS NOT A TOY and should be kept out of the reach of children.