Vintage Japanese Sosaku Kokeshi by Yokozuka, Ikuyoshi
This Kokeshi is named “Utage | Formal Dress” (meaning party, banquet, feast) an award winning creation. Totally lathe-turned doll emphasizes the Japanese long coat called a (Haori Hakama), and in this case is shown as a thigh-length jacket and worn over a nagagi (kimono) which is dark in contrast to the overall piece. The jacket being a separate element is cut to indicate the slightly opened and joining of the garment forming a type of pocket from which the elongated neck and round head emerges. The eyes are black and large demonstrating the artists interpretation of innocence with a small red circle of a nose. The only hair shown is three wisps of hair on top of the head. The simplicity of structure also belies the fact that donning a jacket that supports an often visual complex image, is sometimes void of decoration, and simply emphasizing form. This Kokeshi has a white impressed seal on the bottom as well as the artist signature on the back of the doll, both identifying the maker. The doll published in Sosaku Kokeshi: Celebrating the Major Artists of the Creative Movement, 2022 by Evans & Wolf.
Condition: Excellent and beautiful aged condition. No chips, missing pieces or restoration, and retains its original details and finish. The piece meets all the standards of the collectible Sosaku Kokeshi.
For additional information on the artist/family go to: https://mingeiarts.com/collections/artisan-woodworker-yokozuka-ikuyoshi-1960
Yokozuka-san was born in Saitama-ken, Chibu-shi, and worked in Gunma-ken, Yonezawa-shi for most of his life. He won the Prime Minister’s Award for his unusual Sosaku creations. Unfortunately, Kokeshi making was not his emphasis, for he had more interest in “form giving”, and created only a few Kokeshi, which are rarely seen at public sales or auctions. No other information is available on this exceptional artist.
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