Japanese Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi by Nozawa Kaoru

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Dimensions: 14-0”h x 5-1/2” dia. (8lbs)

This version of Nozawa-san’s Kokeshi is entitled: “Numa no kami | Crane God” and is rare and significant because it incorporates hand-painted Flying Snow-White Cranes, (Tsuru) on a wedding kimono for this elegant Bride. The Kimono design is an indication of social status, personal identity and cultural sensitivity which is also expressed through the color wish is also atypical because only the elite regularly wore luxurious kimonos that were not red, pink, or white as did the general citizenry. It also breaks from tradition because if not purchased new and was most likely handed down through the family of brides. Also referred to as the “bird of happiness, who are monogamous”, and a symbol of peace, the crane is believed to live for thousands of years, and the churning and flowing wave pattern represents the strength that the bride brings to the marriage.

The expression on the face of this extraordinary lathe-carved figure is virtuous, intense, and fascinating with the use of his ‘one-stroke eye’, (Hitofude-me), her elegant and innocent face wrapped with black, long hair running down her shoulders. Because of the length of her hairstyle, the long sleeves, (Furisode) which are part of a wedding kimono are hidden or wrapped in front of her and are usually reserved for formal or ceremonial wear. The carving of the doll is used to texturize her Heian style hair treatment and various elements of the Kimono, (cranes, waves, and the undergarment) giving detail to the layering of the moss green garment, (referred to as Kokeiro, which expresses the interrelationship between heart, spirit, and soul)…Most appropriate for the wedding of a new bride. The piece is signed on the bottom by the artist.

Condition: Excellent condition means that the piece has minor flaws from age and use.

Additional Information: The only information on record is that Nozawa, Kaoru was born in 1930-. She recently won an award at the 65th All Japan Kokeshi Competition. Historically, the Japanese have been very modest people. Japanese artists, in particular, felt their work spoke for them, and so for centuries, creative efforts by many artists, with the exception of woodblock prints, were unsigned, yet were easily recognized by the public through a specific style and the artists’ unique personalities. As collectors, we felt it was most important to represent all Traditional and Sosaku Kokeshi, whether or not there is a written account of this artist’s life.