Vintage, Rare Sosaku Kokeshi Entitled: Kagamijishi | Japanese Kabuki - Renjishi Lion Dancer Kokeshi by Miyashita, Hajime


Dimensions: 10-0"h

Offered is a wonderful Kokeshi which depicts a Lion Dancer known as Kagamijishi, which is a shortened name of the Kabuki dance called the “Shunkyo Kagamijishi”. Kabuki is a form of traditional Japanese drama with highly stylized songs, mimes, and dances. Now performed only by male actors, using exaggerated gestures and body movements to express emotions, and performed in historical and domestic plays, drama, and dance.

This Kokeshi represents the Lion Dance character, (Mai), which was a theme for this artist, for it portrayed the spirit of the lion, which is a contrast in character between the elegant femininity of Japanese women versus the dynamic masculine power of the lion spirit. The figure is made of solid wood and is shown in a relatively simple juxtaposition of the form/body elements, which affords a contrasting effect as if dancing, emphasizing the natural white birch wood, (Shirakaba). The pose enhances the beauty of the doll and the poetic meaning translated through the minimally ornamented material. Along with simple relief carving for the body of the figure which consists of an outer Kimono and undergarment, complemented by wide-wrapped sleeves. The Kimono details two unpainted low relief cherry blossoms as the focus on her garment, adding texture to the overall figure. Her expressive face is expressively detailed while she is playing a Japanese end-blown bamboo flute, (shakuhachi). His hair is made to look like Lion's mane, full and majestic in appearance covering the back of the head, neck, and shoulders, and executed through simple relief representing the outstanding characteristic of this Kabuki character. On the base is the red impressed seal of the artist Miyashita, Hajime with a hand-written script on paper identifying the piece.

Condition: Excellent, original condition, consistent with age and standards of collectible Folk Art, with all details perfect and as crafted.