Vintage Traditional Kokeshi

Kijiyama-Kei (Family) | Kyutaro, Ogura


Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 10-0” h

This doll is quite unique in its overall design and motif. It has a shorter but elongated neck and head and made of a single piece of wood. The expressive face and simple hair style give the Kijiyama kokeshi a more realistic appearance which is typical of this style. Her striped kimono with a stylized Chrysanthemum design and apron was created about 80 years old. The doll is painted in black outline with red accents, celebrating the natural characteristics of the wood from which it was formed. It is finished in a clear lacquer. She has the artist’s signature and description on its back. This design became the representative doll of this strain.

Vintage Condition: Excellent, (“as is”), with no defects that affect the design, and retains the original craft/workmanship, commensurate with age. Any discoloration, chipping/cracking, surface wear, or structural damage is noted. 

Kijiyama-Kei (Family)

Prefecture: Akita


One of the most readily recognizable of the traditional dolls is the Kijiyama type, from the region of the same name in the Akita Prefecture. The name is derived from the woodcraftsmen (Kiji-ya), who live in the remote mountains of the Tohoku region.

Collector's note – characteristics / painting style:

Most Kijiyama have a one-piece body with high shoulders, and while originally chrysanthemums were common on the earlier versions, which were of two-piece construction, the body now possesses a kimono-like painted design, with an apron (maedare), over the kimono. Kijiyama heads looks like an inverted egg, some with a red bow on top. Incorporating Plum Blossoms are closely associated with the Ogura family.

Notable Artists:

Ogura Shougo, b. 1934
Ogura Kiyushiro, Master
Ogura Masaharu, Master.
Ogura, Kyutaro, b. 1906, Grand Master
Note: Others involved in the making of the Kijiyama doll are the Takahashi and Abe families.