Vintage Japanese Sosaku Kokeshi Entitled, “Hemp Girl | Henpugāru” by Tsujita, Ryozo

Sale price$175.00

Dimensions: 15”h

Tsujita-san began making Sosaku dolls in 1961 in his hometown of Odawara, where he resided until his death. A multi-award winner, he won the coveted Prime Minister’s Award in 1981. He was one of fifty, (50), local Sosaku artists featured in a small museum in nearby Hakone, where this Kokeshi was purchased before it permanently closed.

This piece, entitled: Aki, has an unusual treatment, with the lathe-turned head perched on top of a separate tapered neck, and a body made from one solid piece of dogwood, (mizuki). The head incorporates meticulously rendered grey hair, which contrasts with the light-colored base and the black-textured body. The artist took advantage of the natural grooved wood while being turned and then stained it black to add to its elegance. The Obi, in turn, is inset and painted with an undercoat of brick/tawny color, with hemp, (Asa) motif, in silver and gold enamel. (In early times, “asa” was an important source of cloth, and hemp leaves themselves formed the basis of a variety of hemp patterns, as shown in this beautiful motif). History tells us that the ‘God of Hemp’ is revered at Oasahiko Shrine in Tokushima, Japan. The piece is hand-inscribed in gold with the artist’s name on the back of the Obi. 

The piece is published in Sosaku Kokeshi: Celebrating the Major Artists of the Creative Movement in 2022. For more information on this artist go to the following link:

Condition: Excellent, meaning that the piece retains its original craft/workmanship, showing a wonderful, developed patina commensurate with age, which suggests a degree of wear that corresponds to its vintage, and is void of damage, cracks, breakage, or repairs. This doll meets all the standards of the collectible Japanese Sosaku Kokeshi.