Vintage Japanese Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: Iroume | White Plum by Takahashi, Hajime


Dimensions: 14-0”h

This beautiful executed lathe-turned doll is from one piece of Elm, (Keyaki). The artist has used a branch of Plum, (Ume), with just one flowering branch to ornament this elegant doll and associated with the start of spring, because plum blossoms are some of the first blossoms to open during the year. In this case, the Plum blossoms and buds represented are a symbol of refinement, purity, nobility, and a reminder of past love. This doll uses an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life, an aspect of Japanese cultural tradition that is often associated with Buddhist influence. 

The facial details are understated while she exhibits elegance with peaceful eyes, which is a trademark for Hajime-san, a suggested mouth, with black bangs and side hair fringes framing her face. A low relief wide Obi is painted in metallic bronze or gold, so as not to detract from the simple blossom motif. The bottom of the doll bears the artist’s signature, red stamp, and identification. 

NOTE: The doll will arrive with an original drawing made at the time of the doll's creation by Hajime-san depicting the specific model with signature and full identification.

Condition: Superb outstandingly excellent, impressive, and beautiful. There are no chips, cracks, breaks, missing pieces, or restoration, and it retains its original details and finishes. The piece meets all the standards of the collectible Sosaku Kokeshi. 

For additional information on the artist/family go to:

The piece is published in Sosaku Kokeshi: Celebrating the Major Artists of the Creative Movement, 2022, pg.146 by Evans & Wolf. Originally a fine arts painter, Takahashi-san (1918-2002) is from Sendai, (where Traditional Kokeshi were born), in Miyagi Prefecture. His artistic background includes time spent as a craftsman of ‘Yuzen’ silk kimono dying. He is a multiple-award winner in yearly Kokeshi competitions, receiving the Prime Minister’s Award, the highest honor bestowed on Sosaku Kokeshi artists. All of his work is easily recognized by the painterly designs decorating his dolls.