Japanese Creative Kokeshi | 'Seishin No Komugi' by Kishi Sadao
This is a 1960 award-winning Kokeshi design, celebrating the Wheat Festival in Korobe Gorge. Wheat, when harvested, is golden brown, and so is appropriately represented as the central motif of this beautifully proportioned doll. Shown is a lathe-turned doll with an undulating form defining the various part of the body. The head shows its attachment to the body by a wonderfully formed neckline while the garment shows negative space between each section. The Kimono wheat design is beautifully rendered through wood burning in relief. The waist is specifically identified by a three-dimensional ring of different wood to bring attention to this detail. The face is extremely simple incorporating angled eyes and a suggestion of a nose and lips. The top of the head shows a Mage in which the hair is in a complex manner with a suggestion of hair falling on both sides of the face. The doll is both signed in the script by the artist as well as has his red impressed stamp on the bottom.
Condition: Excellent and commensurate with age with no fading of the painted motif. Wonderful workmanship, turning, and painted features.
NOTE: Born in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture, Kishi- san produced hundreds of Creative Kokeshi dolls until his passing. During his career, he received numerous awards, winning the Prime Minister’s Award and the Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Award (METI). He is credited with being one of the major influences of the ‘Sosaku Kokeshi Movement’, gaining recognition for the dolls as a popular and valid art form.
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Kishi-san was born in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture in 1932 and produced hundreds of creative Kokeshi dolls until his passing. In 1950 he started creating Sosaku Kokeshi. During his career, he received numerous awards, winning the Prime Minister’s Award and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award (METI). He is credited with being one of the major influences of the ‘Sosaku Kokeshi Movement’, gaining recognition for the dolls as a popular and valid art form. In 1969 this piece was purchased by The Crown Prince and Crown Princess. In 1970, he dedicated his work to the Enshrining Festival of the Meiji Shrine representing the crafts of his native prefecture.
Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:
The Wheat Festival in Korobe Gorge inspired the most popular dolls by this artist, for which wheat is one of his central motifs. He additionally incorporated simple flowers and subjects related to mothers and children as both form-giving and decoration on the bodies. All of his creations are beautifully proportioned dolls, found in many sizes, and celebrate nature and its connection to everyday life. An emphasis on simple turned wood gives focus to the subject of his work.