Traditionally crafted in the small city of Takayama, these dolls are hand-painted using woodblocks. The color is fixed to the raw cotton at high temperature and each doll is then filled in with rice hulls and hand-sewn, so that every one of them is genuinely unique. This little bird is part of the Japanese wild bird series and depicts a great spotted woodpecker, a bird that lives mostly in northern Japan. Its name, akagera (赤げら), means red thorn and refers both to its red spot on its head and to its song, which emits a "kera" sound. It is reputed to be the guardian and protector of the forest as it hunts small insects that infest trees.