Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi Doll by Wagatsuma Kichisuke Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi Doll by Wagatsuma Kichisuke

Artisan | Woodworker: Wagatsuma, Kichisuke | 1910


Wagatsuma-san is from the Aone Hot Springs in Miyagi Prefecture. Though his family had been farmers for many generations, he worked in Shiraishi City as a Kijishi in his teen years. He then began his training as a Traditional Tougatta artist in his 20s under Master Tougatta maker Sato, Yoshiaku, in the early 1930s. Not too long after, Wagatsuma-san joined many other young Tougatta makers abandoning their Traditional Kokeshi craft to become Sosaku Kokeshi artists in the later 1940s to the early 1950s. At one point earlier in his Traditional career, Kichisuke trained other young Tougatta artists, including his son, Satoshi.

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

Kichisuke created this doll, entitled, Ume no sato, (Plum Country), during the brief time he worked as a Sosaku Kokeshi artist. It incorporates traditional abstract motifs with the use of ‘Rokuru Moyo’ horizontal lines to further define the doll. The face has traditional Tougatta characteristics, and is enhanced by the deep carving of the plum blossoms on the body. The body of the piece is finished with a purple lacquer. The name for purple in Japanese is ‘Murasaki’, which is also the name of the Purple Gromwell flower, and a very rare color for Kokeshi. Purple is the color of privilege and wealth, and was introduced into Japanese dress during the Heian Period, (794-1185).

Artist's Signature:

Wagatsuma, Kichisuke kokeshi artists signature