"Mitinoku /Okako | Parent and Child" "Mitinoku /Okako | Parent and Child"

Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi

"Mitinoku /Okako | Parent and Child"

Ishihara, Hideo


Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 9-0" h ; 7-0" h

Sold as a pair

In Japan, snowfall is symbolic as sentimentality, love between parent and child, and impermanence to the people who live in Northern Japan. This mother and daughter are wearing ‘Mino’ snow coats emphasizing the beautiful wood used to form the dolls. The natural qualities of wood grain are emphasized on un-ornamented bodies that are composed of three sections, (base, body and head).  The faces are separate insets and positioned for conversation with just eyes to convey emotion. Both are hand inscribed on the bottom, and are finished with a simple wax.

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

Artisan | Woodworker: Ishihara, Hideo | 1925 - 1999


Ishihara-san, a highly influential Sosaku Kokeshi artist, was born in Tokyo, and began his career by making Traditional Narugo dolls in 1957. His grandfather was the very famous artist Onuma Iwatao, of Narugo Onsen, Miyagi. After graduation 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 60 awards, including the highest honor, the Prime Minister’s Award.

Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:

Ishihara-san’s dolls are based on many motifs, both found in nature and in 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 which have both the ‘one-stroke eye’, (Hitofude-me), as well as as a variation of traditional doll eye treatments.

Artist's signature: