Vintage Japanese Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: “Kodomo no Noka | Farm Workers” by Kato, Koumei


Dimensions: 5-1/8”h

Japanese farm families found themselves in a predicament that brought about the use of their children in the fields in the 1920s to 1930s. Both males and females of all ages worked the fields, each having different chores, and this has been a re-occurring theme in many forms of folk art. Here, we see not only the tools (broom, hoe, and bucket) carried by each farm worker, but each wearing showing traditional clothing, and in this case, an un-ornamented Jacket, (haori), made of Elm, (Zekokvia), which is a darker and beautifully grained and each wearing a tied headband, (hachimaki) which is a symbol of perseverance and courage. Each doll is lathe-turned with heads made of Beech, (Bichi). Each head is expressively detailed with wide opened eyes, eyebrows, a red mouth, and the Japanese Hibari hairstyle, (short uneven cut with bangs) which became popular in the 1980s and remerged today throughout anime. The pieces have the artist's stamp on the bottom of the doll.  

NOTE: A little-known artist specializing in children, Kato-san’s creations rarely come up for auction. There is no biographical information published other than we know he died in 1964. The dolls were published in Sosaku Kokeshi: Celebrating the Major Artist of the Creative Movement in 2002. For more information about the Japanese family see our blog:

Condition: Original excellent undamaged condition exhibiting an aged patination with minimal imperfections related to daily use. “As is” means the object has not been restored and retains the original craftsmanship with little if any age deterioration.