Rare Sosaku Kokeshi Doll by Sato, Nurio, (1948-1995), entitled: “Ōku no kōun” (Much Good Fortune)
This wonderfully expressive Kokeshi doll is based on Otafuku, (Okame, 1392-1569), who remains one of Japan's least analyzed yet beguiling figures. Sato, Nurio has captured her spirit showing merry and expressive eyes, a definitive nose, and a soft smile symbolizing peace, and long life. Her delineated face has three chin wrinkles indicating the doll represents a worldly woman. She has very faint red pudgy cheeks, and who always showed two circular dots on her forehead, with a Buddhist hairstyle reminiscent of the type when the hair was draped down the back of the head. The body of the doll has a design that is referred to as “Rokuro Moyo” linework created solely by turning the lathe while applying red ink. Nurio-san is a Traditional Tougatta Kokeshi artist, who studied under Sato, Teruo, and known for creating a combination of Traditional and Creative dolls falling into what is known as a Transitional Kokeshi. His quirky-yet-captivating expressions on this Kokeshi are extremely entertaining having an exquisitely lathe-form body and hand-painted details. The doll is signed on the bottom with his name but "no other information is published on this artist".
Condition: Excellent for its age with very good detailing, no fading or chipping, and commensurate with age.
NOTE: Japan's active system of belief, with its devotion to gods and spirits and ancient rituals, gave an order to the course of daily life. Otafuku has been part of this scene for a long time. She is always there with a smile and warmth in her heart overseeing the ups and downs of our everyday lives. Her smiling face takes away worry and brings joy. Her chubby cheeks and tiny red mouth nugget convey robust health, earthy simplicity, and greets each new situation with laughter and bright-heartedness. NOTE: We have NEVER seen Otafuku, (Okame) on any Sosaku Kokeshi which makes this piece very rare.
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