Vintage RARE Japanese Zodiac Rabbit (Usagi) Kokeshi by Sato, Kouson


Dimension:  12-1/2” h x 5-1/2” dia (5lbs)

Sato, Kouson, (A.K.A. Komura) kokeshi are easily recognized. On special occasions she created Zodiac characters such as the one being offered that is quite rare and treasured as a symbol of good luck. Komura was afraid to create very large dolls for which her work distances itself from other female artists in the creative genre through a bold approach to both the form and graphics. 

Most Kokeshi of this type are centered around children, with some believing that kokeshi represent to add playfulness into a child’s life, and bring children closer to the traditions and folk tales of Japan. Many people also agree that they were originally exchanged as tokens of friendship, many as with this doll having statements or wishes based on the purpose of the gift. This is an excellent example of Kouson’s harder to find Zodiac creations, (Year of the Rabbit: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, and 2023).

As for the details of this lathe-turned doll, this large and heavy doll shows a head positioned on the neck/collar of her body. It has a wonderful soft and gentle face and has been given a traditional hairstyle topped with a “Mage”, (bun or topknot) and hairpin (Kanzashi) with bright red ends incorporating some traditional detailing into a Sosaku doll. Her face has black expressive eyes with eyelashes, without eyebrows, a white cat nose, and an expressive red mouth. The artists painterly qualities are exceptional with expressive artwork carved and painted in white enamel. Even the surface of the moon shows detailing emphasizing the Tsukino Usagi, The Moon Rabbit, (see the fully story on our website: On the bottom of this kokeshi is the artist's impressed stamp, with details of the rabbit motif and her signature on the back with a miniature stamp.

See additional writings on our website related to this artist:

Condition:  Excellent vintage condition, commensurate with age and retaining the original craft/workmanship and natural features of the wood (Japanese Cedar - Sugi). The piece meets all the standards of Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi.