Vintage Japanese “Sleeping” Yajirou Ejiko by Kouichi Sato (1936-)

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Dimensions: 1-3/4”h x 2-0”dia

The creators of these wonderful Ejiko hail from the small farming village of Yajirou-machi near Kamasaki Onsen in Miyagi Prefecture, once a farming village between two, tall mountains. The kiji-shi (woodworkers), divided their time between farming and wood-craft. The baby moves freely within the base as if it were sitting in a simulated basket, and in this case wood with natural bark on the exterior and a type that farming mothers use to keep their babies near them in the fields during the busy season. This allowed them to supervise and attend to the little ones when no one else was available. 

Offered is a wonderful Izume.ko baby utilizing a veritable rainbow of colors, from the usual red and black to green, and  purple. The upper body usually has a hand-painted collar with horizontal stripes encircling the body, as in the Rokoru moyo style, and vertical stripes running below the neckline to the base of the doll. The baby has a painted beret-like feature or a bun on its head, similarly painted with a red center spot and side hair fringes. It has one lid eyelid, cat shaped nose.  The toy is beautifully detailed, and made of natural wood from the region. The piece is signed on the bottom by the carver.

See our e-book entitled: A Collector’s Guide: Traditional and Creative Kokeshi and Toys:

Condition: Excellent meaning that the piece retains its original craft/workmanship and functions as intended, showing a wonderful-developed patina and is void of damage, cracks, breakage, or repairs and meets all the standards of the collectible Vintage Traditional Kokeshi Toys.