This is our interpretation of a Hoko doll.
The Hoko doll was traditionally made by mothers-to-be in ancient Japan. Made out of scraps of kimono silk, the Hoko doll was created as a home for the spirits of scarlet fever and other diseases. The spirits would choose to live in the doll instead of the child, and in return the child would care for the doll until marriage to keep the spirits content.
Our Hoko is a little different, because he has a mask made from white earthernware, and lots of little bells around his neck. When a bell rings it has a purifying and protective effect. He is a lucky little fellow indeed!