Vintage Traditional Kokeshi

Vintage Japanese Traditional Narugo Nemariko by Okazaki Yasuo

$65.00

b.Late, 1940s

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 4-0”h

This beautiful miniature doll represents a sub-strain of the Narugo family. It is a popular style referred to as a “squeaking or crying child”, and made of two pieces, with the head being attached to the body via a snap-in projection, allowing it to be turned, thus making a squeak. Naru is "sound or "cry," and ko is "child." Thus, Naruko is "crying child," which is no surprise, then, that like the tall, full size Naruko Kokeshi sisters that also makes a "crying” sound when her head is turned.

This doll has a wide body with beveled shoulders and a narrow waist. If you look closely you will see very think and delicate and meticulous line work known as ‘Rokoru Moyo’ to further defining the form of the doll. It has bangs and side hair fringes which is a definitive feature of the head with a single eyelid, and a cat nose. It has a red Chrysanthemums blossoms and leaves as the main motif on the front of the figure. It is made of made of one piece of solid and beautifully colored Enju wood, (this wood has been handed down as a tree auspicious to ward off the devil, and good fortune). The motif has incorporated a lighter accent spot in the center of the body and finished with clear lacquer. The piece is signed in script on the bottom of the doll.

Condition: Excellent, original condition, with no fading or loss of color and consistent with age and standards of collectable Folk Art. She has a great touch and a fits nicely in one hand. All details perfect and as crafted.


Japanese Traditional Kokeshi | Narugo-Kei (Family)

Prefecture: Miyaka

Origin:

These are the popular “squeaking or crying child” dolls and are made of two pieces, with the head being attached to the body via a snap-in projection, allowing it to be turned, thus making the squeak. Naru is "sound or "cry," and ko is "child." Thus, naruko is "crying child," It's no surprise, then, that the Naruko kokeshi "cries" when her head is turned. They originally came from Narugo Onsen in Miyagi Prefecture and originated sometime in the Edo period when there were approximately 125 craftsmen producing this style. The Narugo kokeshi has been labeled the most sophisticated.

Collector's note – characteristics / painting style:

Narugo dolls are one of the most well-known families of Kokeshi and are defined by their straight-shaped body, narrowing slightly at the waist with beveled shoulders. Bangs set wide apart are the definitive feature of the head with side fringes, a single eyelid, and a cat nose. They also are very balanced, and typically have paintings of chrysanthemum, (Kiku), Iris (Ayame), or peony (Botan). Though these basically plain dolls are not as decorative as others of the Traditional school, their unique, flowing forms are stronger visually because of their inherent elegance.

Notable artists:

Oonuma, Jun, b. 1924
Oonuma Sinbei, Master
Izu Mamoru, b.1925
Izu Sadao, Master
Kakizawa Koretaka, b. 1930
Takahashi Morio, Master