Fine Sosaku Kokeshi Couple titled Haori Miyashita Hajime

This is a wonderful pair of Creative Kokeshi. Kokeshi are a type of wooden doll made by turning on a lathe like the traditional Kokeshi dolls. The difference is that in general, Sosaku Kokeshi artists were trying to express a new and modern feeling when designing their dolls, breaking away from traditional styles.

Both male and female dolls are beautifully detailed in the face and are wearing matching kimono and haori (Jackets). Her hair is appropriate for the time as well as his top notch. Both have a modern look about their faces along with the simple design of the jacket. The ties for the Haori are in contrasting colors and appropriate for the pair.

According to the writing on the back of the piece, this pair is titled: “Haori…(Kimono Jacket)”, which is self-evident. The thick dark brown Haori is made separately and placed on the doll. It feels as if you can remove it from the doll, and the dark color contrasts well with the pale color of the dolls dobies, conveying a sense of warmth and comfort. This stylized Haori does rotate freely around each doll but is not removable. The dark stamped writing continues onto the bottom of the male doll and reads “Nasu Kogen (Nasu Highland Park)” in Tochigi Prefecture. This is probably a commissioned piece and it is signed by the artist’s first name, which reads “made by Hajime”. Only one doll is signed, for the writing represents the couple.

As shown in the style of this piece, Miyashita Hajime became known as a Sosaku Kokeshi artist who often signs only his first name. He lives in Maebashi City of Gunma Prefecture of Japan. Over 70% of Sosaku Kokeshi are now produced in Gunma Prefecture of Japan and Miyashita Hijime is a part of a group of popular Gunma artists. He has received numerous awards, including the Prime Minister Award for his work. This couple was published in the book, Kokeshi: Wooden Treasures of Japan because of their rarity. Dimensions: Male-6” and Female-5” tall.

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