Vintage Nambu KinaKina Traditional Kokeshi by Suzumago, Jitsutarou
Dimensions: 9-1/2” h
This Nambu, (Hanamaki), Kokeshi are a colorless wooden doll, originally used as pacifiers. This type of doll was called Kikuriboko, or, “Child of Wood”. This Kokeshi has a comparatively small head that “bobbles or sways”, and moves freely via a snap-on type, attached loosely so that it would turn and wobble. Many of these pieces show diversity in the body shapes. This particular doll has a slightly raised simulated obi sash incorporated into the solid wood carving. It is made of Birch, (Kabanoki), wood and is extremely smooth to the touch because of refined lathe-turning and a clear lacquer finish, complementing the body shape. The piece is signed by the artist.
For further information see our section entitled “Browse by Family”, Japanese Traditional Kokeshi | Nambu/Kina-Kina-Kei (Family).
Condition: Excellent and beautiful condition affording the doll age-old elegance. Retains the original craft/workmanship showing a wonderfully-developed patina and commensurate with age and unrestored. The piece meets all the standards of Traditional Kokeshi collectibles.
This family of traditional dolls might well be considered the original Kokeshi, as it is said they were modeled after a baby’s pacifier. They originated in the cities of Hanamaki and Morioka, and the Yumoto Onsen in Awate Prefecture. Several shapes of kina-kina continue to be made now in somewhat larger sizes. These have been called Kikuriboko, or, "Child of Wood."
Collector's note – characteristics / painting style:
They started as unpainted ‘teething’ dolls, and the wood would have a very smooth surface. These unpainted versions are called Kina-Kina, and most would have movable heads, similar to the modern “nodders”. The head would be of the snap-on type, attached loosely so that it would turn and wobble. At one point, some Nanbu artists, influenced by the popularity of Narugo and Tougatta dolls, began painting the plain Nanbu-kei with stylized chrysanthemums. These decorated dolls were then called Hanamaki dolls with bangs, side fringes, double eyelids, and cat or round noses. 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.
Matsuda Tokujiro (trained by Mokichi Susumago)
Susumago Mokichi, Grand Master