Vintage Japanese Tougatta Strain Ejiko Container by Sato Masahiro
Dimensions: 4-1/2”h x 4-0” dia.
This wonderful container first of all has a natural bark on the undulating and stained lower portion of the body. She is beautifully decorated with a delicately designed flower motif on the shoulders. On the top of the head is a red bow and a loop on the head, incorporating a flower petal motif which also frames the face along with split bangs and side fringes. The face has thin narrow eyes sometimes referred to as Futae-mabuta (double lid), a split nose, and a small red mouth. On the bottom of the container is the artist's signature along with further descriptions about the pieces.
Tougatta dolls are thought to be the oldest family members of the Traditional school. They originated in the Tougatta Onsen in the Miyagi Prefecture and were subsequently being produced also at Aone Onsen, and the cities of Sendai, and Izumi. The Tougatta style is easily found by collectors in an interesting range of variations.
There is no other biographical information published on the artist other than he was born in 1938 in the Miyagi prefecture and apprenticed with the Grand Masters Sato, Tetsuro, and Wagatsuma, Kichisuke.
Condition: Excellent and beautiful example and condition. The doll retains the original craft/workmanship and painted decoration showing a wonderfully-developed patina commensurate with age and unrestored. This doll meets all the standards of Traditional Tougatta Ejiko collectibles.
Tougatta dolls are thought to be the oldest family members of the Traditional school. They originated in the Tougatta Onsen in the Miyagi Prefecture, and were subsequently being produced also at Aone Onsen, and the cities of Sendai, and Izumi. In the 1960s, Togatta craftsman founded the Tougatta Kiji Union, a cooperative that was able to gain the rights for reserved wood use from the Japanese Ministry of Forestry. The Tougatta style are easily found by collectors in an interesting range of variations.
Collector's note – characteristics/painting style:
They are easily recognized by their narrow, columnar body shapes, tapering at the shoulders to a head that is wider than the rest of the doll, and more angular than round. Most Tougatta dolls have bangs split in two with side fringes, thin narrow eyes, and a split nose or cat-type nose. Several have paintings of chrysanthemums, (Kiku), plums (Ume), and iris (Ayame), usually in very stylized designs. The dolls decorated with plum branches and blossoms are associated with Aone Onsen. There is also a group which have ‘banded’ bodies. These are decorated in a circular-style painting known as Rokoru Moyo, which is done as the doll is turned on the lathe. Here again, the head is a squeeze-in type, but cannot be turned to produce a ‘squeak’. The head is covered with a painting of a chrysanthemum.
NOTE: Both Yajirou ad Togutta dolls are sometimes created with loose rings circling the waists. Literally carved from the same wood as the body, a very meticulous method! This treatment is referred to as 'Yamiyo' style kokeshi. It is also seen on Tsuchiyu dolls, though very rarely.
Asakura Kinu, b. 1918
Asakura Eiji, Master
Midorikawa Masando, b. 1926
Sato Tetsuro, Grand Master