Vintage Japanese ‘Takobozu’ Nakanosawa Ejiko Kokeshi by Kakizaki, Fumio

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Dimensions: 4-1/2”h x 3-1/4”dia.

The Ejiko is the only other doll form that transcends all ten+one different traditional types. While this form is not considered a separate member of the ten original families, it later was accepted by collectors as its own entity, and as a traditional doll in its own right. As opposed to the standard Ejiko form of having a hollowed-out body to be used as a container, the upper portion of the body, (neck and head) appears to be a cover or lid but is not. This particular doll follows the overall characteristics of design as applied to the standard, traditional kokeshi made by both the Nakanosawa and Tsuchiyu-kei family of dolls. 

The artist uses the same basic short, rotund-style form of the Ejiko. The head treatment has a larger over-sized head with a small tuft of a wavy hair strand on the back, and side hair friges which was typical of practitioners of the Zen Buddhist faith. The design of black concentric circles known as the ‘snake eye’ design shown on the top of the head which was also called Janome style. The doll shows large expressive Bikkuri-me eyes, (surprised eyes), but interestingly the artist did not incorporate the expressive Shishi-bata Lion’s nose with flared nostrils, instead using the “tare-bata” long nose) made famous by the Tsuchiyu family. Finally, he has incorporated patterns of flowers on the shoulder, framed between red and green “Rokuro Moyo” patterned lifework. On the body is a basket weave motif in green to simulate the original woven basket design of the Izume.Ko styling in which babies were placed while families were working on the farm. The piece is signed on the bottom by the artist.

Condition: Excellent vintage condition and commensurate with age. This is a rarely seen example of this family style of dolls that were based on the Nakanosawa styling. It has historical significance related to the establishment of this style of Ejiko and is extremely unique. You will not see another currently being sold.

See additional writings on our website related to this subject: Under our Browse and Learn section, please refer to for full details on the history and development of this style doll.