Vintage Traditional Kokeshi

Nambu/Kina-Kina-Kei/Hanamaki (Family) | Jitsutaro, Suzumago

$50.00

b.1908-1984

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Sold as a pair
Dimensions:
5-1/2” h

The Nambu kokeshi is a plain wooden doll once used as pacifiers for young tots, in which this pair is perfectly scaled for their little hands and mouths. As with all types of Kina-Kina, the doll has a comparatively small head that “bobbles or sways”, and moves freely via an attached joint/stem. Both pieces are signed by the artist.

Vintage Condition: Very good condition, and “as is”, with some scattered light wear or stain that does not affect the design, and retains the original craft/workmanship and is commensurate with age. Any discoloration, chipping/cracking, surface wear, or structural damage is noted.


Nambu/Kina-Kina-Kei (Family)

Prefecture: Awata

Origin:

This family of traditional dolls might well be considered the original Kokeshi, as it is said they were modeled after a baby’s pacifier. They originated in the cities of Hanamaki and Morioka, and the Yumoto Onsen in Awate Prefecture.

Collector's note – characteristics / painting style:

They started as unpainted ‘teething’ dolls, and the wood would have a very smooth surface. These unpainted versions are called Kina-Kina, and most would have movable heads, similar to the modern “nodders”. The head would be of the snap-on type, attached loosely, so that it would turn and wobble. At one point, some Nanbu artists, influenced by the popularity of Narugo and Tougatta dolls, began painting the plain Nanbu-kei with stylized chrysanthemums. These decorated dolls were then called Hanamaki dolls with bangs, side fringes, double eyelid and cat or round noses. Though these basically plain dolls are not as decorative as others of the traditional school, their unique, flowing forms are stronger visually because of their inherent elegance.

Notable artists:

Susumago Jitsutaro
Matsuda Shouichi
Matsuda Seichi
Matsuda Tokujiro (trained by Mokichi Susumago)
Susumago Mokichi, Grand Master