Vintage Kokeshi Bunkichi Sato

Artisan | Woodworker: Sato, Bunkichi | 1922-2008


Born in Tendo, Yamagata Prefecture, to a family of traditional Tougatta doll makers. Bunkichi did his early training under Master Tougatta artist Sato, Ushizo. He moved to Matsushima City, in Miyagi, and began creating Sosaku dolls, using a very traditional Ikat patterning for his dolls.

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

Due to the smaller head shape than normally seen, Sato Bunkichi’s dolls are easily recognized, but very rare and hard to find. The word ‘Ikat’ comes from the Malaysian word ‘to tie’, because the loose threads are tied into bundles using grasses or wax-treated cotton to specify where the dye is able to sink in and color the thread. This technique developed independently across many different cultures. Some Ikat emphasizes precision, where it is difficult to distinguish it from block printing. The Japanese learned about this type of printing from the Dutch traders in the early 18th century. Here the artist masterfully incorporates this motif onto the bodies of these simple figures.

Artist's signature:

Sato Bunkichi Artisan signature kokeshi


Sort by: