Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi by Sato, Suigai (Sadahachi) Entitled: “Semishigure | Cidada’s Song”


Dimensions: 17-1/2”h

This is a famous award-winning Kokeshi having been including in the Prime Minister’s Award in 1966. Sato-sans artistry has been recognized by Japan’s Imperial Family, Crown Prince Akihito, ( now Emperor Akihito), the Ministry of Economy and trade, and the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

What is unique about this doll is the beautifully positioned head. She has a traditional hairstyle with bun and suggested hair laying on her forehead with hair fringes. Her eyes are very expressive and detailed with eyelashes with a small suggestion of a nose and perched red lips. The motif represents ‘Stilt Grass’, reflective of the base wood of the doll. These grasses are most commonly found in shady, moist areas of wetlands and an important regional motif encouraging healthy crops. She has a tight ornamented and uncolored wood obi on a vivid blue Kimono. Basho, the Japanese poet, summarizes the basis of this motif through this haiku: “How still it is! Stinging into the stones, the locusts’ trill.” The doll has Sato’s red stamp on the bottom.

Vintage Condition: Very good condition with slight fading on the back of the doll but commensurate with age, and a wonderfully large display doll. The photos support the description.

NOTE: Suigai was born in Okubo, Yoshioka Village, Gunma Prefecture (1920-) to a family who owned a silk trading business. At the age of 18, he began his professional career as a painter, and before pursuing a career in creative Kokeshi making in 1948, and pursued careers in fashion design, engineering, and mechanics.