Vintage, RARE Traditional Nemariko Narugo Kokeshi by Okazaki, Yasuo
This Kokeshi was made by Okazaki, Yasuo, (b. 1954-), and has a short, rotund style, and differs from the Ejiko dolls by being taller than they are wide, with bangs set wide apart being its definitive feature. The head has side fringes, a single eyelid, and a cat nose. In this case, two elongated black and gray Chrysanthemums blossoms fill the lower front portion of the body. We also see ‘Rokoru Moyo’ circular treatment incorporated to create an impression of the collar, and frames the decorative portion of the Kimono. It is made of one solid piece of wood, the head will turn and squeak, supposedly like a baby crying, just as their larger sister models do. This piece is not hollowed out to contain toys as some others were for storage of miniature toys. This particular doll is made of dogwood, (mizuki), which was the preferred wood at the time, so as to emphasize the beautiful detailed floral motif, and is finished with a natural colored candle wax, (Rosoku no ro). The piece is signed by the artist on the bottom.
Condition: Excellent, original condition, with no fading or loss of color and consistent with age. The piece meets all the standards of collectible Folk Art.
Our antique/vintage pieces are identified/described and professionally photographed, and considered, “as is”, therefore all sales are final. Read our full refund and return policy.
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.
Oonuma, Jun, b. 1924
Oonuma Sinbei, Master
Izu Mamoru, b.1925
Izu Sadao, Master
Kakizawa Koretaka, b. 1930
Takahashi Morio, Master