Issetsu Kuribayashi Kokeshi Dolls Issetsu Kuribayashi Kokeshi Dolls

Artisan | Woodworker: Kuribayashi, Issetsu | 1924-2011


From Yonezawa City, Kuribayashi-san is considered one of the founding fathers of the Sosaku-Creative movement. His dolls have won every major award given over the years. He began his career in 1955 and is featured in the Nuremberg Toy Museum in Germany along with fellow Sosaku artist Watanabe Masao. Many of his works were one-of-a-kind creations.

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

Most of his dolls are decorated with floral themes, such as stylized autumn themes, including Kiku, (Chrysanthemum), Daisies, and Ikat fabric designs. His dolls also utilize multiple types of wood, with natural colors, with handpainting to define the face and clothing.

He enjoys long flowing unbound hair, (taregami), and incorporates traditional hairstyles both with and without hair ornaments, (Kanzashi). The eyes express humility, and his faces typically have a tiny red spot for the nose. Shape and balance are important elements of Japanese style and decoration. These carved and complementing shapes are thought to suggest intuition and inspiration. Additionally a popular, Mother and Child theme is found in numerous works by various artists including Kuribayashi.

Artist's signature:

Kuribayashi, Issetsu Kokeshi Signature