Sadao Kishi Kokeshi Dolls

Artisan | Woodworker: Kishi, Sadao | 1932-1998


Kishi-san was born in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture in 1932 and produced hundreds of creative Kokeshi dolls until his passing. In 1950 he started creating Sosaku Kokeshi. During his career, he received numerous awards, winning the Prime Minister’s Award and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award (METI). He is credited with being one of the major influences of the ‘Sosaku Kokeshi Movement’, gaining recognition for the dolls as a popular and valid art form. In 1969 this piece was purchased by The Crown Prince and Crown Princess. In 1970, he dedicated his work to the Enshrining Festival of the Meiji Shrine representing the crafts of his native prefecture.

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

The Wheat Festival in Korobe Gorge inspired the most popular dolls by this artist, for which wheat is one of his central motifs. He additionally incorporated simple flowers and subjects related to mothers and children as both form-giving and decoration on the bodies. All of his creations are beautifully proportioned dolls, found in many sizes, and celebrate nature and its connection to everyday life. An emphasis on simple turned wood gives focus to the subject of his work.

Artist's signature:

Kishi, Sadao Kokeshi Artist Signature


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