Vintage Japanese Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: “Kurōbā no ko” | Clover Child by Watanabe, Masao


Dimensions: 10-1/2”h (4lbs)

This RARE and LARGE Kokeshi represent a young girl, with a quite unusual and exaggerated egg-like shaped head for which the piece is made of solid beech wood and extremely heavy. The head has a wisp of bangs in black and done in a sumi-e’ technique, with simple modest downturned eyes and red noses. The top of the head, and on the back, is painted in green representing the fields of clover, (this application is very light so as to allow the natural golden color of the beech wood “Buna-zai”) to show through. Her body has a very light suggestion of a three leaf clover with horizontal sumi-e’ red strips on her clothing. The doll has a clear lacquer finish that accentuates the wood from which it is made and sealed with a type of natural clear candle wax, (Rosoku no ro). The doll is signed and stamped by Watanabe-san as well as the title in script. 

This Tanka, (long poem), Watanabe associated this poem with the creation of this series of dolls:

It’s all I have to bring today
This, and my heart beside
This, and my heart, and all the fields

And all the meadows wide
Be sure you count — should I forget to tell
This, and my heart, and all the Bees which in the Clover dwell.” 

Watanabe-san is a multiple award winner for his dolls throughout Japan and has a permanent exhibit at the Nuremberg Toy Museum in Germany. To read more about this artist and his work go to:

Condition: Excellent condition exhibiting the wonderful lathe-turning and application of color producing  a natural, aged patination and meticulous care. There are no missing elements, a few scratches from aging and daily use. The doll retains the original craftsmanship, meeting the standards of the collector of Sosaku Kokeshi.