RARE Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: ’Soshun | early Spring by Miyajima, Muhitsu
With Kokeshi craftsmen as well as other artists, spring is considered the most favorite and notable season to the people of Japan. It is a beautiful, magical, and most joyful season of all. As incorporated into this doll the Akaibara (red rose), are very bright and have a significant meaning of romance, and can be offered as a sign of love to a significant other. Here the rose is the center motif on this triangular shaped doll. Next to the red rose with green leaves is a beautifully detailed butterfly, again to celebrate Spring. The piece has wonderful, deeply-carved hair running down the sides and back of the body, along with abstract rock formations at the base. She has a sweet face which beautifully expresses the artist’s impressions. Signed and titled in script on the bottom. The doll published in Sosaku Kokeshi: Celebrating the Major Artists of the Creative Movement, 2022 by Evans & Wolf.
Condition: Superb outstandingly, exceptional, impressive, and beautiful condition. No chips, cracks, breaks, missing pieces or restoration, and retains its original details and finish. The piece meets all the standards of the collectible Sosaku Kokeshi.
For additional information on the artist/family go to: https://mingeiarts.com/collections/artisan-woodworker-miyajima-muhitsu-1929
Miyajima-san was born in Yonezawa City of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, home of many Traditional Kokeshi makers. Miyajima-san began his career under the tutelage of Master Yamagata craftsman Kobayashi Kichitaro in the mid-to late 40s, and then switched to Sosaku doll- making in the 1950s. His dolls have had a great influence on Creative, (Sosaku), doll makers in all prefectures. A multiple award winner, Miyajima-san won the prestigious Prime Minister’s Award in 1973.
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Miyajima-san was born in Yonezawa City of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, home of many Traditional Kokeshi makers. He began his career under the tutelage of Master Yamagata craftsman Kobayashi, Kichitaro, in the mid-to late 40s, and then switched to Sosaku doll making in the 1950s. His dolls have had a great influence on Creative, (Sosaku), doll makers since then. A multiple award winner, Miyajima-san won the prestigious Prime Minister’s Award in 1973.
Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:
Simple form and function is the theme to Miyajima-san’s creations. The wood is most critical in his interpretation of the seasons and often incorporates the snow coat called ‘Mino”, which adds depth and character to his pieces. The wearing of the traditional Fuyu Kasa, (hat), of the 1950s is seen on many of his works and was a kind of headcovering for Buddhists, which was overly large, in a bowl or mushroom shape, and was originally made from woven rice straw. Seasonal flowers, (Camellia), are often used along with Plum blossoms and tree branches, (see the two dolls at the top right named "Bairin or Plum Grove"). He typically incorporates sumi-e’ brush work into his representation of faces, and uneven carved grooving giving ornamentation and texture to the figure. Miyajima-san works in a variety of beautiful woods, but seems to prefer the heavy, dark colored Enju wood, (Pagoda tree), for it’s rich colors and interesting grain.