Japanese Traditional Kokeshi | Hijiori-Kei (Family)

Japanese Traditional Kokeshi | Hijiori-Kei (Family)

Prefecture: Yamagata


The Hijiori-style dolls originated in Yamagata prefecture, at Hijiori Onsen, and at Sendai city and are the result of the merging of two Kokeshi-making families: Narugo and Tougatta. Hijiori were first developed by Shusuke Sata, who moved from Togatta to the Hijiori spa, which is surrounded by the enduring presence of the "Dewa Sanzan" (three mountains n the Dewa area.)The Hijiori doll is considered a popular model for Kokeshi books and has very distinctive facial features and head decorations. Because fewer of these dolls are produced than the other styles, they are highly favoured among doll collectors because they are so distinctive and attractive, and typically more expensive.

Collector's note – characteristics / painting style:

The main characteristics of Hijiori dolls are a stable body, beveled shoulders, and a squeeze-in type of head similar to Narugo dolls. The large heads are like the Tougatta, and the bodies are shaped more like the Narugo. The double eyelids or eyes with the irises facing upwards are typical. Hijiori dolls are found in two styles: one with the body painted with chrysanthemums, (Kiku), and divided by a narrow obi, and one on which the body is decorated with a 'spray' formation of flowers. The colour yellow is frequently used to paint the ground of the body. In some instances, maple leaves will also be incorporated. 

Notable Artists:

Sato Junosuke, b. 1930
Sato Shouichi, b. 1935
Sato Toranosuke, Master
Sato Minosuke, Master
Sato Shousuke, Grand Master


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