Vintage Japanese Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: “Ume to shijo | Plum Blossom” by Takahashi, Hashime | 1918-2002

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Dimensions: 14-1/4”h

This tall vintage Kokeshi is by legendary master Kokeshi artisan Hashime, Takahashi, who created the piece in celebration of the Plum Festival. 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.  

This doll is lathe-turned from one piece of Elm, (Keyaki) and incorporates a hand-drawn spray of red plum blossom in full bloom and an elegantly detailed and entwined branch. The plum is associated with the start of spring because plum blossoms are some of the first blossoms to open during the year. Plum blossoms are a symbol of refinement, purity, and nobility, and also a reminder of past love. She is elegant with peaceful eyes, which are a trademark for Hashime-san, an expressive little red mouth, with black bangs and side hair fringes. Also seen is a red spray of flowers on both the top of her head and framing her face. The bottom of the doll bears the artist's signature, and title, along with a red stamp impression. 

Condition: Excellent vintage condition and commensurate with age. Seldom found carving, with no loss or fading of artwork/details. After the turning, carving, and painting, the doll is lacquered and sealed with a natural candle wax, (Rosoku no ro). A perfect doll for the collector of Japanese Kokeshi folk art.