"Oboroya | Clouded Moon" "Oboroya | Clouded Moon"

Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi

"Oboroya | Clouded Moon"

Katase, Kahei


Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 7-0" h

This exceptionally large and detailed Kokeshi is exquisitely formed based on both traditional, and creative styling. The hair in particular takes on a traditional form and is delicately detailed in the carving technique. The motif that is positioned down the center front of the Kimono is executed in a silver lacquer, and indicates the artist’s fascination with this aesthetic. The doll has an incised artist stamp on the back bottom portion of the doll. This doll was published in an exhibition catalogue entitled: Kokeshi Dolls by JETRO, (the Japan External Trade Organization).

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 noted. 

Artisan | Woodworker: Katase, Kahei | 1922-2015


Born in the town of Hakone, in a region known for its beautiful wooden marquetry crafts, Katase-san, the son of a Kijishi, (woodworker), won the first Prime Minister’s Award in 1954 at the ‘All Nippon Kokeshi Competition’. Along with many of his fellow Sosaku artists, Katase-san was a soldier, and perhaps turned to creative Kokeshi-making to assuage the rigors of a long-fought war.

Katase focuses on what is known as “one-off” dolls turned from one piece of wood, and detailed throughout the figural form. They primarily illustrate the “new” styles of Japan of the 18th century when the Dutch East Indies Trading Company influenced Japanese everyday life and customs. Buddhist figures, which are intricately carved, are another style by this artist.

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

In many dolls he utilizes a hand painted striping technique called Rokuro Moyo, and in several instances he incorporates seasonal flowers into the kimono representation. The hair and clothing of his pieces are subtly textured with a lacquered finish.

Artist's signature:

Katase, Kahei Kokeshi Artist Signature