Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)

Kokeshi dolls are distinct wooden figurines that originated in Japan in the nineteenth century. I like kokeshi dolls, and I featured my small collection in an article on an impromptu piano recital in May 2021. (My colleague, Victor V. Gurbo, is less fond of kokeshi dolls.) With one exception, all of my kokeshi dolls were manufactured by Usaburo Kokeshi, a company based in Gunma Prefecture that produces handcrafted kokeshi dolls. I recently needed to make a purchase on Amazon, so while I was in the area, I decided to find a new kokeshi doll to add to my collection. While I never understood the trend – I do understand that so-called unboxing videos are all the rage today (are they still the rage?). For that reason, I decided to create a (poorly shot and edited) unboxing photoshoot.

(For those who are curious – you can find Usaburo kokeshi dolls online. Amazon offers a decent selection. Prices vary, but on Amazon most are in the $25-$50 range as of April 24, 2022.)

Three Usaburo kokeshi dolls and two danbo surround an unopened Usaburo kokeshi doll box.
In order to un-box, you must first have a box. I put the box on a table to begin un-boxing. My three Usaburo kokeshi dolls decided to come over to see what was going on.
Three Usaburo kokeshi dolls and two danbo surround an unopened Usaburo kokeshi doll box.
Not much has changed. Unboxing takes time.
Three usaburo kokeshi dolls and two danbo stare at an unopened Usaburo kokeshi doll box.
The kokeshi dolls moved in after I removed the plastic wrapping from the box. Things are getting real. The unboxing is happening. That aside – I will note that Usaburo produces high-quality cardboard boxes.
Three usaburo kokeshi dolls and two danbo stare at an opened Usaburo kokeshi doll box with a wrapped kokeshi doll inside.
The box has been opened. a wrapped kokeshi doll sleeps inside. Does this count as unboxing? The box is open. Deep question. One of my kokeshi dolls appears to be falling asleep on the box.
Three usaburo kokeshi dolls and two danbo stare at an opened Usaburo kokeshi doll box with a new pink kokeshi doll inside.
She has been revealed! Do note that my poor photo does not do her justice. It doesn’t capture the vivid colors or fine textures on the new kokeshi doll.
A sakura kimono Usaburo kokeshi doll standing between another Usaburo kokeshi doll and two danbo.
Welcome to the family! I know the lighting here is terrible – alas.
Four usaburo kokeshi dolls and two danbos standing in a line.
Family picture! Why is that kokeshi doll on the right going into the box?
An usaburo kokeshi doll in an Usaburo kokeshi doll box.
I see – she was sleepy. I want to use this box though. I suppose it can wait until after she wakes up.
Close-up of an Usaburo kokeshi doll.
Final close-up of the new kokeshi doll – again, my poor photo doesn’t do her justice, but it should give you an idea of what she looks like.