This is one of those things you just can't not watch: This video of a Japanese craftsman shaping and gracefully carve wood into beautiful dolls is probably the best thing you’ll see all weekend. Scratch that – your life. It’s that mesmerizing and awesome. The dolls, which are called Kokeshi, originate from northern Japan and are always handmade from wood. There's something super hypnotic and calming about watching this guy as he starts with one long cylinder of wood, spins it on a lathe, sands it, and begins to slowly chisel it into form. Everything happens so expertly fast: Suddenly, the grisly piece of wood is a smoothed over door-knob shape. At this point, I was like, “What is this sorcery?” and kept watching to see just how he does it.
Magic, probably. I have to assume that’s how this person, who is supposedly no more of a superhuman than I am (I wanna see the receipts) pulls off this level of precision. That’s the only way I can truly and aptly explain it. After he has delicately carved the head and the body of the Kokeshi, he artfully paints red and green varying stripes on the torso while the wooden pieces are still rapidly rotating on the machine. I watched this part like five times because the way he traces paint on the doll is seriously magical. I dare you to look away while he does it. I DARE YOU. He wraps the whole glorious process up by painting a face on the head using impressively steady and gorgeous brushstrokes, and signing his initials his name on the bottom of the doll, as per Japanese tradition. I feel like we can lock it in aleady: All we want for Christmas is this doll.