Vintage Tougatta Traditional Kokeshi by Sakai, Shojiro


Dimensions: 4-1/2” h

This vintage lathe-turned figure is quite unusual, and represents Hotei, the God of abundance and good health, Hotei is depicted as a  “roly-poly” Buddhist monk with an expressive smiling face, big ears, hairy chest, navel, and elements of his encompassing robe. Here he is holding a fan keeping cool in the hot summer. Sakai-san was was an apprentice of Agatsuma, Kichisuke and known for his interpretations of the Seven Lucky Gods, (Benzaiten; Bishamonten; Dikokuten; Ebisu; Fukurokuju, Hotei, and Jurojin) which are always made of Kabanoki, (birch), because it would emphasize carved or painted ornamentation. The Seven Lucky Gods are known in Japan as Shichi Fukujin. Adapted from various Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, and Shinto gods and saints, they were grouped together in Japanese folklore around the 17th Century. The piece is signed on the bottom of the figure.

Vintage Condition: The figure is in wonderful condition for their age, (“as is”), and retains the original craft/workmanship and commensurate with age. Any discoloration, chipping/cracking, surface wear, or structural damage is noted.