Vintage Japanese Sosaku Kokeshi by Sato, Suigai
The Kokeshi being offered, entitled: Summer Grasses is by a famous award-winning Kokeshi carver named, Sato, Suigai. What is unique to this doll is the unusual but traditional hairstyle with a bun on a beautifully tilted head that is tilted and raised from the body of the piece, with unique long eyelashes, a small nose, and red lips detailing her expressive face. The body of the doll is filled with a motif of ‘Stilt Grasses’, which are most commonly found in shady, moist areas of wetlands. She has a carved and uncolored wood obi on a vivid blue Kimono. After the turning, carving the doll is lacquered and sealed with natural candle wax, (Rosoku no ro). The piece has its name and is signed on the bottom by the artist along with his impressed mark in red.
Condition: Excellent condition means that the piece has no fading of the painted motif. Wonderful workmanship, turning, without repairs, and in original condition and consistent with age and standards of collectible Kokeshi Folk Art.
Additional Information: Access our Browse & Learn section, link: https://mingeiarts.com/collections/artisan-woodworker-sato-suigai-1920 to learn more about this award-winning Sosaku Kokeshi artist.
Our antique/vintage pieces are identified/described and professionally photographed, and considered, “as is”, therefore all sales are final. Read our full refund and return policy.
Sato-san, also known as Sadahachi, was born in Okubo, Yoshioka Village, Gunma Prefecture, to a family who owned a silk trading business. At the age of 18, he began his professional career as a painter under famous artist Komuro, Suiun, before pursuing a career in creative Kokeshi making in 1948. Sato-san also pursued careers in fashion design, engineering, and mechanics. His Kokeshi dolls have won many awards, including the Prime Minister’s Award in 1966. In 1970, Sato-san’s artistry was recognized by Japan’s Imperial Family, Crown Prince Akihito, (Now Emperor Akihito), the Minister of Economy and Trade, and the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.
Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:
What is unique to this artist’s dolls is the unusual but traditional hairstyle, the wheat, summer grass, bamboo, (symbolizing prosperity, purity, and innocence), plum blossoms, and abstract leaves. In many instances he utilizes an uncolored wood obi on both plain and vividly colored Kimono. He additionally incorporated ‘Stilt grass’, which is most commonly found in moist areas of wetlands. He also enjoyed representing ‘Kyoho budo’, (giant mountain grapes). Occasionally he incorporated pine, plum, and bamboo, referred to as “sho-chiku-bai”. Sato-san created many wonderful simple forms. The artist regularly captures a peaceful nature in his dolls faces, complementing the serene nature that fills the countryside. And finally, we see Sato-san creating very large Kokeshi, made in two separate sections from the same piece of wood. The motif on the body represent the family crests, (Mon).