Japanese Exclusive Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi by Hideo Ishihara - Hanako (Flower Child) | Rare and Historically Significant
Dimensions: 8-1/2” h x 3-3/4” dia.
This unusual and very rarely seen Kokeshi is entitled “Hanako” (Flower Child) and signed by award winner and master Hideo Ishihara, (1925-1999) and represents the painterly accomplishment of this artist. The most unusual element is the hand-painted textile design in red and multi-colored body adding to the complexity of the figure, emphasizing the strong character of this doll, and bringing out the true nature of the wood. Her head is fully covered with a black “Bob” hair design with bangs that frame a small portion of her simply defined face having only ‘one-story eyes’, (Hitofude-me). The doll is finished in a simple wax coating and contains his unique hand-scripted signature on the bottom of the doll.
A retired professor colleague and textile historian at Tokyo’s Bunka Gakuin University indicated that the textile design incorporated into this doll represents textiles worn at the time of the 1960 Japanese Peace Movement, (“Anpo Struggle”), and is beautifully represented by the painting experience of Ishihara.
For additional information on the artist go to: https://mingeiarts.com/collections/artisan-woodworker-ishihara-hideo-1925-1999
Condition: Excellent with minor signs of age and use.
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Ishihara-san, born in Tokyo in 1925 was a highly influential Sosaku Kokeshi artist and began his career by making Traditional Narugo dolls in 1957. His grandfather was the famous artist Onuma Iwatao, of Narugo Onsen, Miyagi, and creator of the "Naruko Kokeshi". After graduating from University, Ishihara-san was under medical care for more than ten years, during which time he studied painting. Upon recovering from his illness, he began making Sosaku Kokeshi, and in a ten-year period (1959-1969), he received more than sixty awards, including the highest honor, the Prime Minister’s Award. He was introduced to the twenty-three countries in Europe and America by NHK. He has sponsored 30 exhibitions in Japan including those at Matsuzakaya Nagoya and Ginza, and four exhibitions in overseas countries. He was one of the founders of the Nippon Kokeshi Artistic Handicraft Association.
Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:
Ishihara-san’s dolls are based on many motifs found in nature and textile design. He loves portraying both young and old characters with differing hairstyles, (traditional and 1950s era). He illustrates numerous kimono styles in both painted form and carving and utilizes simple graphic treatment to emphasize the strong character of his dolls, which bring out the true nature of the wood materials through manipulation of the turned and carved wood. His dolls are always finished in a simple wax coating. It is also not unusual to see him utilize sumi-e’ drawing of faces that have both the ‘one-stroke eye’, (Hitofude-me), as well as a variation of traditional doll eye treatments.