Vintage Japanese Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: “”Dojo | Young Lady” by Tanaka, Harumasa
This beautiful and clean form Kokeshi is by Tanaka-san beautifully illustrate the accomplished use of un-ornamented form to express his observation of young women of the period. The most unusual aspect is the uniform ‘Bob’ hair design style, which adds elegance to his interpretation of this doll. He created different sizes of this doll with the heads supported by a short and separate neck with the same motif which is the emphasis on the Japanese beauty ideals which favor small features and upswing eyes, with a small a red dot for a nose, all perceived as being more attractive and welcoming because of the emphasis on a “V” shape elements. Dolls from this series were made from Birch wood. He completed a small number of very stylized and artistic forms during his time of creating dolls. There is an inscription identifying the artist on the bottom of the doll along with a red stamp detailing the period/location where it was made. The doll published in Sosaku Kokeshi: Celebrating the Major Artists of the Creative Movement, 2022 by Evans & Wolf.
Condition: Excellent, outstandingly, exceptional, and beautiful condition. No chips, cracks, breaks, 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-tanaka-harumasa
Tanaka-san is acknowledged as a leading member of very artistic dolls during the Sosaku movement in the 1950s-60s, and is a multiple award winner. He additionally was recognized with his creation of a Kokeshi known as Kantsubaki, (Winter Camellia). Additionally, his doll “Dojo”, Young Lady), won the Prime Minister’s Award in 1965 at the 12th Annual All Nippon Japan Kokeshi Competition.
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Tanaka-san is acknowledged as a leading member of the Sosaku movement in the 1950s-60s, and is a multiple award winner. His doll “Dojo”, (Young Lady), won the Prime Minister’s Award in 1965 at the 12th Annual All Nippon Japan Kokeshi Competition. He additionally was recognized with his creation entitled: Kantsubaki, (Winter Camellia).
Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:
Tanaka beautifully illustrates the accomplished use of form and un-ornamented surface. The artist uses wood to express feeling, related to the casual hair treatment and abstract, almost 1920s treatment of her haori. Modern thinking young girls loved these abstract flamboyant designs, which transformed their lives and connected them to the West. The most unusual aspect of course is the hair design style, which is uniform in each piece and adds elegance to his interpretation of the figure. His abstract motifs are typically flowers, i.e., poppy in colored lacquer, or the piece is left totally unadorned and relies solely on the carved form. The eyes are most expressive with a simple red dot to express the nose.