Ishihara, Hideo Japanese Kokeshi Woodworker

Artisan | Woodworker: Ishihara, Hideo | 1925 - 1999


Ishihara-san, born in Tokyo in 1925 was a highly influential Sosaku Kokeshi artist and began his career by making Traditional Narugo dolls in 1957. His grandfather was the famous artist Onuma Iwatao, of Narugo Onsen, Miyagi, and creator of the "Naruko Kokeshi". After graduating from University, Ishihara-san was under medical care for more than ten years, during which time he studied painting. Upon recovering from his illness, he began making Sosaku Kokeshi, and in a ten-year period (1959-1969), he received more than sixty awards, including the highest honor, the Prime Minister’s Award. He was introduced to the twenty-three countries in Europe and America by NHK. He has sponsored 30 exhibitions in Japan including those at Matsuzakaya Nagoya and Ginza, and four exhibitions in overseas countries. He was one of the founders of the Nippon Kokeshi Artistic Handicraft Association.

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

Ishihara-san’s dolls are based on many motifs found in nature and textile design. He loves portraying both young and old characters with differing hairstyles, (traditional and 1950s era). He illustrates numerous kimono styles in both painted form and carving and utilizes simple graphic treatment to emphasize the strong character of his dolls, which bring out the true nature of the wood materials through manipulation of the turned and carved wood. His dolls are always finished in a simple wax coating. It is also not unusual to see him utilize sumi-e’ drawing of faces that have both the ‘one-stroke eye’, (Hitofude-me), as well as a variation of traditional doll eye treatments.

Artist's signature:


Sort by: