For as long as I can remember, this carved, wooden doll has been in my bedroom. She's one of those familiar things that I rarely notice because she's always been there, like any other fixture in the room. But every time I pack up and move, she continues to make the cut. Looking closely, she's actually really lovely and fits in perfectly with the things I've collected as an adult. I always thought she was Russian, but in hindsight I really don't know what I was basing that on.

It turns out she's a Japanese Kokeshi doll in a sakura (cherry blossom) kimono. She's styled differently from most of the examples I can find online, but I was able to find out that she was probably made for tourists in the 70s. I think she ended up with me through my dad's parents, who used to travel a lot for the furniture company they owned. In my research I also discovered the little tidbit that Nintendo Mii avatars are based on the traditional armless bodies and over-sized heads of Kokeshi dolls.