Vintage Soskau Kokeshi Dolls by woodworker Aoki Ryoka Vintage Soskau Kokeshi Dolls by woodworker Aoki Ryoka

Artisan | Woodworker: Aoki, Ryoka

Origin: No Biography

Historically, the Japanese have been a very modest people. Japanese artists, in particular, felt their work spoke for them, and so for centuries, creative efforts by many artists, with the exception of woodblock prints, were unsigned, yet were easily recognized by the public through a specific style and the artists’ unique personalities. As collectors we felt it was most important to represent all Traditional and Sosaku Kokeshi, whether or not the artist has been identified, their seal, or artistic signature translated, or a written account of this artist’s life. Each show the diversity of this cultural specialization and the creative work produced by this artist.

Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:

Shown in the images above are two traditional subjects made into Sosaku Kokeshi. The figure on the right, entitled, “Hime Daruma | Female Daruma”, is modeled after Bodidharma, and is a female manifestation of this religious figure. It was not unusual to find just the face of Hime Daruma, surrounded by seasonal flowers and artistically incorporated into Sosaku Kokeshi.

The figure on the left, entitled, “Mangetsu | Full Moon”, is of a young girl or “Chuushuu no Meigetsu”, also called Jugoya, the night of the full August moon, in early autumn. The images on her kimono speak of the fall and the use of pampas-like grass, (Sesuki), in the various celebrations. Ancient Japanese had a custom of worshiping the full moon, for it was believed that a full moon was a symbol of a rich harvest.

Artist's Signature:

Aoki, Ryoka Kokeshi artist signature