Vintage Japanese Keshinohana | Poppy by Tanaka, Harumasa

Sale price$175.00

Dimensions: 6-1/4”h
This is a Kokeshi rare find or seen on the retail market or at auctions and rarely sees his dolls with poppies. It is turned from one piece of wood and assembled in three parts, all sculpturally conceived to give interest to the standard Kokeshi form. The face is a separate element with bangs slanted eyes and a red dot nose. Her head is fully covered with a suggested ‘Mage’ and a large and balanced Kansashi (hairpin) on the top. The main body of the figure is painted black with some of the original wood showing through to give the garment depth and definition, with abstracted red Poppies (Keshinohana), with white pistols disbursed throughout the garment.

We understand from the Gunma merchant where we purchased this piece, that just after this doll was released it was exhibited at the Hara Museum ARC, Shibokawa, (although not part of the ARC’s accessioning, for they do not have a Sosaku Kokeshi collection). The All Gunma Kendai Kokeshi Association, who host a Kokeshi competition each year, recently clarified the definition of Sosaku Kokeshi as meaning “original kokeshi”. Sosaku Kokeshi represents the evolution of the Traditional Kokeshi which was first introduced by eleven (11) families and represents craftspersons to this day that are not allowed to make any changes to the original family standard doll shapes or motifs. Harumasa-san won the Prime Minister’s Award at the 12th Annual All Nippon Japan Kokeshi Competition for this was one of the creations acknowledged. There is a signature identifying the artist on the bottom of this Kokeshi with the artists and handwritten notes indicating 8 of 49 pieces made, along with the title of the doll.

For more information on this artist go to:

Condition: Excellent condition exhibiting the wonderful manipulation of woods to form the figure producing a natural, aged patination and meticulous care. There are no missing elements, no scratches or imperfections related to daily use with all detailed elements intact. The doll retains the original craftsmanship, meeting the standards of the collector of Sosaku Kokeshi.