Bisque-ware Hakata Okimono

Japanese Bisque-ware Hakata Doll | Hakata Urasaki Daruma Daishi Okimono

$135.00

Age:1950s

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 7-0”h x 7-1/4”w x 6-0”d

Offered is a vintage bisque-ware figure of Daruma  (Bodhidharma), which as related to this figure was originally referred to as a Hakata Suyaki Ningyo (Hakata Dolls). These artistically created clay figures were from Japan and are a part of the life and culture of the Japanese people. 

This doll was made by using plaster within a mold. The clay was packed into the mold to form the doll and then peeled away in order for the clay to be fired in a kiln. As with this and other such pieces, it was fired, and then the doll was painted to represent historic and religious figures with full realistic details. Daruma is seated in the Lotus position, with no visible indication of legs or arms, as a reminder of Bodhidharma, (Daruma) losing his limbs in his quest to reach enlightenment through self-sacrifice and mediation.

Daruma's white eyes with black pupils are one of the most notable features with his blank glare and exaggerated eyebrows meant to reproduce Bodhidharma's (Daruma) well-recognized dark figure and hairy body features. Daruma has an exaggerated nose, extremely large ears with dangling ear loops, and a downturned red mouth showing a seriously expressive attitude. The clothed figure is wearing the recognizable vermillion-colored robe and cowl that is open in front exposing his ribs as that of an ascetic, (a person who practices severe self-discipline and abstention). There is no indication of legs or arms, as a reminder of Bohhidharma, (Daruma) losing his limbs in his quest to reach enlightenment through self-sacrifice and meditation. And finally, he is pictured with a white Hossu (horsehair fly whisk), resting on the left side of his body. 

The Hakata dolls were not known for form-giving since they were made from a mold, but were considered special for the hand painting and detailing of each piece. This doll has a paper label on the bottom that reads Hakata Urasaki Doll / Japan which dates the piece and linked with Urasaki, (died 2004) who was the retailer responsible for the distribution of the Fukuoka creations and who represented craftsmen such as Kuniaki Takeyoshi, who was a master doll craftsman, and others that worked throughout the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. These dolls were not signed which was the standard for the Hakata figurines.

Condition: Very good condition for its age and the fact that it is a soft porcelain/bisque-ware material. There are a few surface scratches but nothing to take away from is display-ability or value. Slight fading of color but remains as originally painted.

NOTE: This figurine represents some common Japanese folk art and customs beliefs that represent various people types and expressions within the culture, and are artifacts that can be found in numerous Heritage Museums such as the McMinn County Living Heritage Museum, shrines like the Kushida Shrine, and museums such as the Hakata Machiya Folk Museum, Japan.