Vintage Traditional Kokeshi

Japanese Traditional Kokeshi | Tougatta-Kei (Family) Kokeshi by Sakura Kinu

$235.00

b.1950-1960

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 18-0”h (4lbs)

Sakura-san was born in 1918 and apprenticed under the master, Asakura Eiji, Miyagi Prefecture. Tougatta dolls are easily recognized by their narrow, columnar body shapes, tapering at the shoulders to an extremely large head that is wider than the rest of the doll, and more angular than round. This extremely large Tougatta doll's head is a squeeze-in type with an unpronounced neck. The head is covered with a black and grey painting of stacked chrysanthemums and has bangs split with two with side hair fringes, thin narrow “sleepy” eyes, and a split nose, or what is referred to as a cat-type nose. It has stylized, stacked chrysanthemums, (Kiku) on its body (Kimono). Additionally, it is decorated with circular-style lines at the neck and bottom of the doll, known as Rokoru Moyo, which is done as the doll is turned on the lathe. The doll is lathe-turned from one piece of wood with the only joint being at the neck/head/body. The doll is a script signature of the artist on the bottom of the doll.

Condition: Excellent and commensurate with age with minimal fading of the motif. Extremely large, heavy doll. Collectors find based on workmanship and size. A fine example of Tougatta Family Kokeshi by one of the few female lathe-turners of the time, which makes it very rare.


Japanese Traditional Kokeshi | Tougatta-Kei (Family)

Prefecture: Miyagi

Origin:

Tougatta dolls are thought to be the oldest family members of the Traditional school. They originated in the Tougatta Onsen in the Miyagi Prefecture, and were subsequently being produced also at Aone Onsen, and the cities of Sendai, and Izumi. In the 1960s, Togatta craftsman founded the Tougatta Kiji Union, a cooperative that was able to gain the rights for reserved wood use from the Japanese Ministry of Forestry. The Tougatta style are easily found by collectors in an interesting range of variations.

Collector's note – characteristics/painting style:

They are easily recognized by their narrow, columnar body shapes, tapering at the shoulders to a head that is wider than the rest of the doll, and more angular than round. Most Tougatta dolls have bangs split in two with side fringes, thin narrow eyes, and a split nose or cat-type nose. Several have paintings of chrysanthemums, (Kiku), plums (Ume), and iris (Ayame), usually in very stylized designs. The dolls decorated with plum branches and blossoms are associated with Aone Onsen. There is also a group which have ‘banded’ bodies. These are decorated in a circular-style painting known as Rokoru Moyo, which is done as the doll is turned on the lathe. Here again, the head is a squeeze-in type, but cannot be turned to produce a ‘squeak’. The head is covered with a painting of a chrysanthemum.

NOTE: Both Yajirou ad Togutta dolls are sometimes created with loose rings circling the waists. Literally carved from the same wood as the body, a very meticulous method! This treatment is referred to as 'Yamiyo' style kokeshi. It is also seen on Tsuchiyu dolls, though very rarely.

Notable artists:

Oohara Masayoshi
Asakura Kinu, b. 1918
Asakura Eiji, Master
Midorikawa Masando, b. 1926
Sato Tetsuro, Grand Master