Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi

Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: Chigo Zakura, (Cherry Blossom Child), by Masao Watanabe

Watanabe, Masao

$175.00

Age:1960s

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 12-0”h

This doll was his most famous entitled, ‘Chigo Zakura’, (Cherry Blossom Child), which won the Prime Minister’s Award, and was presented to the Beatles in 1965, after their appearance in Japan with Sir Joseph Lockwood, Chairman of EMI Record Distributors, England.

He is famous for not only minimally turned and carving beautiful woods, but as with this doll is respected for his use of variegated lacquer used to add another dimension to this Spring representation of the most famous and loved Cherry Blossom season. The eyes of this doll are typically looking downward in respect with just a hint of bangs peeping out of the  tight head covering. The doll has Watanabe-san’s stamp and signed on the bottom.

Condition: Very good and in original condition. Light woods seem to slightly stain more from dampness, as shown on the lower chin of this doll. There are just a few imperfections on the body brought about by aging which does not distract from the appreciation of the doll and workmanship.

NOTE: Masao Watanabe | 1917-2007 (89) 

Born in Fukushima, Watanabe-san studied under Traditional Yajirou Master Sato, Tatsuo of Miyagi Prefecture. After relocation to America, Masao Watanabe, (Nisei male), was incarcerated Incarcerated at the Puyallup Assembly Center, Washington, and transferred to the Minidoka internment camp, Idaho during World War II. While still in camp, he made the decision to volunteer for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and served in Europe. A founding member of the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) in Seattle. Arguably, the most popular and prolific of the 20th/c Sosaku Kokeshi artists, he began his craft in the early 1950s. A multiple award winner in Kokeshi competitions around the world, his works are permanently exhibited at the Nuremberg Toy Museum in Germany.


Artisan | Woodworker: Watanabe, Masao | 1917-2007

Origin:

Masao Watanabe | 1917-2007 (89) 

Born in Fukushima, Watanabe-san studied under Traditional Yajirou Master Sato, Tatsuo of Miyagi Prefecture. After relocation to America, Masao Watanabe, (Nisei male), was incarcerated Incarcerated at the Puyallup Assembly Center, Washington, and transferred to the Minidoka internment camp, Idaho during World War II. While still in camp, he made the decision to volunteer for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and served in Europe. A founding member of the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) in Seattle. Arguably, the most popular and prolific of the 20th/c Sosaku Kokeshi artists, he began his craft in the early 1950s. A multiple award winner in Kokeshi competitions around the world, his works are permanently exhibited at the Nuremberg Toy Museum in Germany. His most famous Kokeshi themes are that of ‘innocence’ (Mushin), and his doll entitled: Chigo Zakura (Cherry Blossom Child). A multiple-award winner, his works are permanently exhibited at the Nuremberg Toy Museum in Germany.

The Beatles in Japan holding Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi Dolls

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

Of all the Kokeshi produced by Masao Watanabe, his doll entitled, Mushin, (Innocence), is most representative of this artist’s work. The emphasis is on the color of the natural wood and texture, and the form of this piece is the most recognizable of all of his dolls. The representation of clothing, complemented by the natural graining of the wood, and the painting of the sash, is common for this particular series. The natural wood implies the kimono or yukata with It’s smooth curves brought about through the use of the lathe. Some painted and raised forms resemble Shibori, a type of tie-dyeing which give texture to the garment. He also prominently features the rose and camellia as a central motif. His most famous piece above, is entitled, ‘Chigo Zakura’, (Cherry Blossom Child), which won the Prime Minister’s Award, and was presented to the Beatles in 1965, after their appearance in Japan with Sir Joseph Lockwood, Chairman of EMI Record Distributors, England.

Artist's Signature:

Watanabe Masao Kokeshi Artist signature