Vintage, RARE Traditional Izume.Ko Doll with Daruma Toy


Dimensions: 3-1/2”h x 3-0” dia.

This beautiful Izume.ko Doll, (Isume baby), comes from Tsuruoka in the Yamagata prefecture. This toy is based on an Isume, a woven basket that farming mothers use to keep their babies near them in the fields during the busy season. This allowed them to supervise and attend to the little ones when no one else was available. Included with this doll are miniature toys placed in the basket along with the baby, comforting the child and easing the mother’s mind throughout the work day.

This is one of the very earliest versions of the Izume.ko doll that still retains its tiny ‘Gofun’, (oyster- shell faced baby, and its hands). It is fully detailed, with hand-painted eyes, and simulated hair. He is wearing a Jinbei, (a matched jacket and trousers made from Hemp/Shijira, for casual wear). He sits comfortably, and is swaddled with small remnants of stuffed cotton forming a backrest. The decorative Sarasa-patterned blanket covering is meant to keep him warm. The most fascinating feature is the child’s miniature Daruma string toy that is mounted in a hollowed acorn shell. The entire creation is contained in an intricately handwoven natural color, bamboo reed basket, which was used to hold babies during this period.

Condition: Excellent, beautiful original condition, with all the accurate design elements of the period. There is no fading or loss of color and consistent with age. The piece meets all the standards of collectible Folk Art.