Vintage Japanese Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: Komori, Tending Child by Kuribayashi, Issetsu
A typical theme of only a few artists is the mother with child or the infant in the arms of the Oshin, (Baby Sitter). Japanese mothers are known for proactively predicting the needs of their children, making the prevention of fuss a high priority. The babysitter was a trusted and essential part of the Japanese family. It was particularly important to rural mothers who daily worked the fields, and who needed assurance that each child would be lovingly cared for throughout the day.
This doll is a one-off creation of an assembled figure lathe carved from one piece of wood. There are three sections, the bottom, the bodice, (the section of the kimono from the waist to the neck with a beautiful Kiku, (chrysanthemum) floral motif in black hand painting on natural wood with a red bow sash on the body and part of the focal point. Shown are the hand-painted facial features of narrow slanted eyes, a tiny red-painted nose on the adult, and a wide-eyed baby on her shoulder or onbuhimo. On the top of the adult's head is a delicately fashioned traditional hairstyle referred to as a “Mage”. The piece is signed.
Vintage Condition: Pristine, excellent condition affording the doll age-old elegance. Retains the original craft/workmanship showing a wonderfully-developed patina commensurate with age and unrestored. The piece meets all the standards of Sosaku Kokeshi collectibles.
Kuribayashi-san was born in Yonezawa city in 1924. In about 1955, he started producing Creative Kokeshi. 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 and are featured in the Nuremberg Toy Museum in Germany along with fellow Sosaku artist Watanabe Masao in 1979. Many of his works were one-of-a-kind creations." Yuzuriu", "Mugen" and "Kareha" are all prize winners in the 1960s-70s. In 1970, his work "Mugen" was displayed as representative art of the Sosaku Kokeshi specialization and exhibited at the Government Pavillion of Japan International Exposition. He was the president of Yonezawa Miyuki Association, Member of Nippon Kokeshi Artistic Handicraft Association.
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 hand-painting 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.