Kokeshi Master - Yuuji Okamoto
Yuuji Okamoto, President of Usaburo Kokeshi. Kokeshi #shokunin for 49 years.
Eldest son of grand master Usaburo Okamoto.
We had the opportunity to speak to Usaburo’s successor and with some tongue-in-cheek, he told us that he was “taken advantage of'' by his father into helping him create #kokeshi. Little did he know that what he initially did for extra pocket money,would end up being a lifelong sole passion and #legacy he would one day pass on to his children as well.
Yuuji also displays his fondness as he reminisces about memories of his father telling him stories once he has had some alcohol and makes him listen to the same stories even in adulthood.
Spoken like a “shokunin” (artisan) true and true, Yuuji's dedication to his craft truly astounds us because even at the age of 72, his solitary wish is to continue to handcraft one unique design for every single kokeshi.