Artisan | Woodworker: Katase, Kahei | 1922-2015
Born in the town of Hakone, in a region known for its beautiful wooden marquetry crafts, Katase-san, the son of a Kijishi, (woodworker), won the first Prime Minister’s Award in 1954 at the ‘All Nippon Kokeshi Competition’. Along with many of his fellow Sosaku artists, Katase-san was a soldier, and perhaps turned to creative Kokeshi-making to assuage the rigors of a long-fought war.
Katase focuses on what is known as “one-off” dolls turned from one piece of wood, and detailed throughout the figural form. They primarily illustrate the “new” styles of Japan of the 18th century when the Dutch East Indies Trading Company influenced Japanese everyday life and customs. Buddhist figures, which are intricately carved, are another style by this artist.
Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:
In many dolls he utilizes a hand painted striping technique called Rokuro Moyo, and in several instances he incorporates seasonal flowers into the kimono representation. The hair and clothing of his pieces are subtly textured with a lacquered finish.
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