Vintage Japanese Sosaku Kokeshi by Katase, Kaihei
The wonderful Kokeshi entitled: “Oboroya | Clouded Moon” is wonderfully detailed, are exquisitely formed, based on both traditional and creative styling. The hair, in particular, takes on a traditional form and is delicately detailed in the carving technique emphasizing flowing hair. The motif that is illustrated throughout the front of the Kimono is executed in a silver lacquer, and indicates the artist’s fascination with this aesthetic. The dolls have an incised artist stamp on the back bottom portion of the doll. Katase-san won major awards at the Gunma Kokeshi Competition on multiple occasions in the 1960s. This doll was published in an exhibition catalogue entitled: Kokeshi Dolls by JETRO, (the Japan External Trade Organization).
Condition: Very good, original condition, with no fading or loss of color, and consistent with age. A small blemish on the left surface of the doll and shown in the image that does not distract from it appearance or value. This is a VERY rare doll and the piece meets all the standards of Kokeshi collectible Folk Art.
He was born in Kanazawa prefecture in 1921 in a region known for its beautiful wooden marquetry crafts. Katase-san, the son of a Kijishi, (woodworker), won the first Prime Minister’s Award in 1954 at the ‘All Nippon Kokeshi Competition’. Along with many of his fellow Sosaku artists, Katase-san was a soldier and perhaps turned to creative Kokeshi-making to assuage the rigors of a long-fought war. Since 1962, he served as a judge at Kokeshi Contest in Japan. In 1955, his work was dedicated to Her Majesty the Empress, and in 1965, t His Majesty the Emperor. In 1970 he was awarded the holder of Excellent Technique and was named a member of Meiko-Kai. He went to the United States in 1973 to direct the overseas exhibition in St Louis and was introduced through a television program in Missouri State. He was a member o the Cultural Properties Protection Committee of Hakone Town and a member of the Nippon Kokeshi Artistic Handicraft Association.
Katase focuses on what is known as “one-off” dolls turned from one piece of wood and detailed throughout the figural form. They primarily illustrate the “new” styles of Japan of the 18th century when the Dutch East Indies Trading Company influenced Japanese everyday life and customs. Buddhist figures, which are intricately carved, are another style by this artist.
Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:
In many dolls, he utilizes a hand-painted striping technique called Rokuro Moyo, and in several instances, he incorporates seasonal flowers into the kimono representation. The hair and clothing of his pieces are subtly textured with a lacquered finish.