Vintage Kokeshi Doll from Japan


This vintage kokeshi doll from Japan is a rare doll by Sadao Kishi is 44cm tall.  Kishi-san produced hundreds of creative Kokeshi dolls until his passing. (1932 -1998) During his career, he received numerous awards, winning the Prime Minister’s Award and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award (METI). He is credited with being one of the major influences of the ‘Sosaku Kokeshi Movement, gaining recognition for the dolls as a popular and valid art form.

This amazing kokeshi is in excellent condition without losing focus on the beautiful woodgrain this exquisite doll has leaves randomly etched and subtly coloured on her dark cloak. Her head is covered with a shawl which has been hand carved and etched to create a checkered cloth with fringing. Her serene and happy face is created using the traditional one stroke facial detail. This beautifully detailed kokeshi doll is in excellent condition, a museum worthy piece. There is no signature but this Doll is included in a picture featuring his most famous dolls.

As a kokeshi artist Kishi-san incorporates  subjects related to mothers and children as both form-giving and decoration on the bodies of his kokeshi. All of his creations are beautifully proportioned dolls, found in many sizes, and celebrates nature and its connection to everyday life. An emphasis on simple turned wood gives focus to the subject of his work.

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