Sekiguchi-san is the only artist who has been certified as a ‘Master of Modern Kokeshi’ by the Japanese Government. He has opened his own museum in Gunma Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo. Born in Shibukawa city in Gunma-ken, Sansaku and his two sons, Toa and Toshio, his daughter Izumi, and son-in-law, have produced many award-winning dolls. Sekiguchi has won awards for more than 50 of his dolls. He has, in fact, won the prestigious Prime Minister’s Award on three different occasions. One of his dolls is on permanent display at the Kerkira Oriental Art Museum in Greece. While his Kokeshi were considered very modern, Sansaku trained as a traditional artist from 1951 to 1957, before focusing on Sosaku Kokeshi. Along with fellow Sosaku Kokeshi artist Watanabe Masao, he no longer has to submit his work for pre-juried exhibitions.
Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:
Fishermen are seen depicted on woodblock prints, accompanied by haiku, a form of poetry. This continues in the world of Kokeshi, and has been used as the central theme of a number of his dolls. Other of his dolls display stylized flowers including cherry blossoms to create the desired seasonal effect, and Noh dancers. The round, yellow jacked fisherman is one of three versons also done in red, and green. The costumes illustrated on his pieces are authentic to the individual he is representing, as well as the headdress such as the simulated bamboo fisherman’s hat or a Buddhist kasa. The use of Chatter Work on the body’s form is exceptional. And finally, an unusual and raew doll depicting the full body tatoos made famous by the Yakuza.