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Mingei is an art movement that embodies the philosophy of hand-crafted art created by ordinary people and appreciation for everyday, practical items. Many of these crafts have evolved into iconic Japanese artifacts, and as shown here they can take on a festive personality.

(from left to right):

Daruma Otoshi: an ancient wooden children's toy. The hammer is used to knock out the discs from underneath without toppling the Daruma.

Kokeshi Dolls: these are simple but delicately crafted wooden Japanese dolls traditionally made from a single piece of wood.

Daruma: this red round doll represents Bodhidharma, a priest and founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. It is traditionally purchased at the beginning of the year for good luck and throughout the year for hope and courage. One eye is painted in when a wish is made, and the other when the wish is fulfilled.

Maneki Neko: translated literally as the "Beckoning Cat", is a common sculpture in Japanese culture and is believed to bring good luck to it's owner.

Chirimen Owls: these owls are crafted from a popular Japanese crepe fabric known as "Chirimen". Chirimen is a textile which has small crimps made by twisting threads on the surface of the fabric, giving these owls a very distinct texture.