Traditional Vintage, (‘Takobozu’), Nakanosawa Kokeshi by Sempei, Haruo


Dimensions: 12-0”h

This is a traditional Nakanosawa Kokeshi of the Tsuchiyu-kei family by Sempei, Haruo, (1929-), Aomori prefecture. He apprenticed under master, Iwamoto, Yoshio and after his death, Sempei-san, along with other prominent craftsmen; continued to keep the Nakanosawa doll’s tradition alive. 

This specific type of Kokeshi is referred to as Takobozu, (octopus face with a shaven head, reminiscent of that worn by monks, with ‘Janome’ black and green Rokoru moya rings painted on its head with side hair fringes). The facial expression shows humor, and is representative of Iwamoto Kenichi, a street dancer, (Sutorītodansā), in the 1920s, who used a cushion with a face with large eyes painted on it. His audience was soon so taken with his dance with the pillow that they asked for a doll to be made with these special features.  This Kokeshi has a characteristically large, over-sized head and unique large expressive  ‘Bikkuri-me’ eyes, (surprised eyes), and expressive ‘Shishi-bata’, (Lion’s nose) with flared nostrils. Many have a reddish to pink blush around the eyes that was painted on the pillow, and an open mouth with red tongue. The painted body of the doll displays large, open red peony flowers outlined in black delicate line work, which was inspired by the tattoos that the Geisha sported. Incorporated are Rokoru moya varying width bands below the neck and lower body. The doll is signed by the artist on the bottom of the doll. 

Condition: Excellent vintage condition and as originally made. All of the represented colors show no fading, clean and crisp. Beautiful polished patina developed from age. These beguiling dolls have a special attraction to collectors because of their history and consistent with age and standards of collectible Folk Art.