Traditional Kokeshi began to be made approximately two hundred years ago. The dolls emerged out of local life and culture and were first produced in the north east area of Japan known as the Tohoku region. The artisans of the area began to make small dolls in the winter to sell to the tourists who came to bathe in the many hot springs near their villages. The few people who could afford the luxury of such a pastime bought the Kokeshi dolls as a souvenir and took the dolls back to their own areas where they were often passed on to the children. This, they thought, would promise a good harvest, as it was believed that it would create a positive impression on the gods if children played with the dolls.