Vintage kokeshi by Sato Suigai


This vintage kokeshi by Sato Suigai is 54cm tall and in excellent condition with artist signature on the lower side. Featuring hand painted bamboo on the body and plain wood obi this doll also has the characteristic  peaceful face under an ornate hair style and kanzashi. A very collectable kokeshi.

Sado Suigai was born into a family that ran a silk trading company in Okubo, Yoshioka Village, Gunma Prefecture. He started his professional career as a painter at the age of 18 under the guidance of renowned artist Komuro, Suiun, before pursuing a career in artistic Kokeshi making in 1948. Sato Suigai worked in fashion design, engineering, and mechanics, among other fields. Many honours have been bestowed upon his Kokeshi dolls, including the Prime Minister’s Award in 1966. In 1970, Japan’s Imperial Family, Crown Prince Akihito (now Emperor Akihito), the Minister of Economy and Trade, and the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry honoured Sato suigai

The uncommon yet typical hairstyle, maize, summer grass, bamboo (symbolising wealth, purity, and innocence), plum blossoms, and abstract leaves are all peculiar to this artist’s dolls. On both simple and vibrantly coloured Kimono, he often uses an uncoloured wood obi. He used “sho-chiku-bai,” a combination of oak, plum, and bamboo, on occasion. Sato-san produced a plethora of beautiful, simple forms. The artist captures a serene nature in the faces of his dolls on a regular basis, complementing the serene nature that pervades the countryside. Finally, we see Sato-san making a very big Kokeshi out of the same piece of wood in two piece

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