Vintage Japanese Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: “Siblings | Hibari” by Kato, Koumei


Dimension:  5-1/8”h - 3-3/4”h

Japanese families valued the support throughout everyday life from siblings which brought about the use of their children performing duties around the home, attending to other family members, and in the fields in the 1920s to 1930s, which has been a re-occurring theme in many forms of Japanese folk art. Here, we see three siblings that the carry the title of: “Hibari”, (translated meaning Skylark) representing three boys, one older supervising the other two younger that are holding hands. Each doll is lathe-turned with with heads made of Beech, (Bichi) and interestingly fashioned arms and hands (which is unusual for Kokeshi since Kokeshi typically do not have arms, legs or feet). Each head is expressively detailed with wide opened eyes, eyebrows, a red mouth and Japanese Hibari hair style (short uneven cut with bangs) which became popular in the 1980s) and remerged today throughout anime.  Each is wearing showing traditional clothing, and in this case an un-ornamented Jacket, (haori), made of Elm, (Zekokvia), one in red lacquer and the others  in a natural finish and beautifully grained. The pieces have the artist stamp on the bottom of the doll. 

NOTE: A little known artist who specializes 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 Kokehshi: 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 minimal age deterioration.