Kahei Katase Kokeshi

Artisan | Woodworker: Katase, Kahei | 1922-2015


He was born in Kanazawa prefecture in 1921 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. Since 1962, he served as a judge at Kokeshi Contest in Japan. In 1955, his work was dedicated to Her Majesty the Empress, and in 1965, t His Majesty the Emperor. In 1970 he was awarded the holder of Excellent Technique and was named a member of Meiko-Kai. He went to the United States in 1973 to direct the overseas exhibition in St Louis and was introduced through a television program in Missouri State. He was a member o the Cultural Properties Protection Committee of Hakone Town and a member of the Nippon Kokeshi  Artistic Handicraft Association.

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.

Artist's signature:

Katase, Kahei Kokeshi Artist Signature


Sort by: