Artisan | Woodworker: Kon, Akira (Seiju) | 1931-
Seiju studied under Master Hasegawa, Tatsuo, and his designs are based on the Tsugaru-style kokeshi, where his pieces were sold at the Owani Spa, Aomori. Little is known about this artist, other than he is from the Yamagata area, a major Kokeshi-making city/prefecture. ‘Noh’ theatre, of course, along with Kabuki, is Japan’s great gift to the Western world. They originated at religious festivals in the first half of the fourteenth century. Kon-san is famous for his depiction of a ‘Noh Dancer’, and he captured the highly stylized masked actor at his commanding and mysterious best. Unusual for Kokeshi, the artist quite offen added tabi-covered feet to the piece, which one never sees on historically pure Kokeshi.
Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:
His figures perfectly depict emotions conveyed by wonderfully stylized faces, gestures and simple treatment of garments. He employed different woods, particularly Japanese cypress, (Hinoki), and then stained with natural pigments.
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