Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: “Bunko | Elegance” by Aida, Seihou (a.k.a. Harumine)


Dimensions: 16-0”h 

One of the rarest seen Kokeshi is this multi- tiered beauty, in which each element of the doll is lathe-turned, and layered to construct this tall slender doll. The head of the doll is actually a miniature doll with traditional hairstyling and a pearl like Kansashi, (hair ornament) that is a beautifully formed piece of wood over a traditional ‘bob” hair design. This small doll is a separate element and can be removed from the main body of the doll. Its head is peering out of the raised sleeves of the Kimono, which is intricately hand-painted, multi-colored Iris in full bloom as seen in the fields. The Obi is treated as a separate element and has a subtle pattern print motif used in the textile design of this period. The natural Enju wood provides contrast to this understated, colorful, and ornamented doll. It remains on its original stand used for the competition.

This elegant doll was purchased in Japan and is a one-of-a-kind creation and entered into the Modern Kokeshi Competition in 1974. Hence the telling feature of this doll is the fact that it was signed with his pseudonym Harumine when entering competitions and no additional information has been found as to why this pseudonym was used. None of his production dolls are signed in this way.

Condition: The piece is in perfect condition, as originally created with no fading or loss of color and consistent with age. The piece meets all the standards of collectible Folk Art. 

NOTE: Aida-san, (a.k.a. Harumine), is a very popular Sosaku Kokeshi artist who has won many awards since he began creating Kokeshi in 1962. Aida was bon in Yonezawa City, Yamagata Prefecture in the first year of the Showa era. Along with the Prime Minister’s Award, he also won top awards in the Modern Kokeshi Academy in 1972-74; the Minister of Education Encouragement Prize at the National Modern Kokeshi Exhibition in 1974; and an award in 1993 at the Special Kokeshi Federation Anniversary Exhibition. He is acknowledged as one of the leading early artists in the Sosaku movement.