Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: Usugori, (Chilly Morning) by Takahashi, Hajime


Dimensions: 6-0”h

There are two unusual qualities about this lovely depiction of a child ready for a cold winter day. Its head is a separate element at the top of the doll form, with a suggestion of the eyes, dot nose, and a wisp of bangs peeping out from under the headpiece. The second unusual element is the headscarf totally covering the head with a beautifully detailed vermillion, (red) textile, which continues to drape down the front of its body. As shown here, Takahashi-san has an unusual way to illustrate clothing elements in a very painterly way for he stresses a textile motif in black with fringes at the end of the scarf. The partially shown face and body are left natural and finished with uncolored candle wax, (Rōsoku no rō). The piece has Takahashi’s hand signature in ink on the bottom.

Condition: Beautiful excellent condition with no fading or discoloration.

NOTE: Originally a fine arts painter, Takahashi, Hajime, (1918-2002) is from Sendai, (where Traditional Kokeshi were born), in Miyagi Prefecture. His artistic background also includes time spent as a craftsman of Yuzen silk kimono dying which is always an important feature of his dolls. He is a multiple award winner in yearly Kokeshi competitions, receiving the Prime Minister’s Award, the highest honor bestowed on Sosaku Kokeshi artists. All of his work is easily recognized by the painterly designs decorating his dolls. Now deceased, his son, Akinori is carrying on the family’s tradition, but in limited production.