Yashima Matagoro Kokeshi Dolls Vintage Yashima Matagoro Kokeshi Dolls Vintage

Artisan | Woodworker: Matagoro, Yashima


Well over two hundred years ago, a Kiji-shi by the name of Matagoro harvested Sugi, (Cedar), in the mountains of Nangai-cho in the Akita Prefecture. He was a highly-skilled carver who enjoyed working with ‘Sugi’, as it was an aromatic, soft wood with a very visible grain. His most famous Kokeshi celebrates Mt. Nangai-cho and the Cedar tree that is loved by the Japanese. His was the first generation Matagoro doll, and is believed to be one of his original conceptions of this doll’s shape and simple form. The doll on the left is the original Matagoro. The doll on the right is the vintage Matagoro.

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

He created a very rough form of a doll, which is thought be the forerunner of the Traditional Kijiyama doll. Since the wood was too soft to work on the primative lathe in use at the time, Matagoro-san carved/chiseled his dolls, until more modern techniques allowed for shaping them on a lathe. The aesthetic difference of his doll is that the suggestion of the Kimono is usually a simple line. He later added the three symbols of ‘Sho-Chiku-Bai’ to highlight the obi. Finally he enjoyed incorporating Haiku, (Poems), into his creations.

Artist's signature:

Matagoro, Yashima Kokeshi Signature

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