The “TSURUKAME” design pattern has a special significance in Japan, and my grandmother would use it for making Kokeshi gifts for special persons. She lived in the snowy mountains of Naruko during a tough period of war, when she painted the Kokeshi dolls for a living. She continued to support her family of four children by painting the dolls. I have occasionally seen her use the “TSURUKAME” design in her entire lifespan of 97 years.


Tsuru (crane) and Kame (turtle) are considered auspicious in Japan as they symbolize longevity. This special pattern denotes my grandmother’s wish that the receiver of this doll be blessed with a long and healthy life, and hence makes this doll a perfect gift for one’s treasured moments like marriage and child birth. What better gift than this to express your gratitude towards your parents and grandparents?