Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: “Akatonbo | Red Dragonfly” by Tsujita, Tatsuya

Sale price$260.00 Regular price$325.00
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Dimensions: 11-1/4”h

Offered is an exceptionally large, unusual, and abstract representation of a young girl moon-watching, with pigtails flying, and titled head looking upwards. Her eyes are beautifully rendered in simple sumi-e’ painted work with a small red nose. Incorporated as part of the garment are wonderful hand-painted red and gold dragonflies, (Tonbo), depicted on the variegated, coloration of the garment, illustrating nature and the surrounding environment, and used as a main motif in several Kokeshi creations. More than anything, this particular doll illustrates the technical and artistic competence of the artist. 

Tonbo is a symbol often incorporated into Samurai garments and represents the saying ‘never giving up', as the dragonfly moves in multiple directions to avoid conflict. The dragonfly is perhaps the oldest symbol in Japan and is represented in many forms of art throughout the ages. The Nihon Shoki, the second oldest book of classical Japanese history, cites numerous references to ‘Akitsu’, an archaic name for Dragonflies, (According to legend, the mythological Emperor Jimmu ascended a mountain some 2,600 years ago and declared that Japan resembled a dragonfly). Very often, the Samurai additionally wore ornaments that showcased the Tonbo design, as a reminder to never give up, but instead look towards the future. And finally, September is the time for moon viewing, (Taukimi), which this figure is positioned to enjoy. The piece has an inscription on the bottom identifying the artist.  

The piece was published in Sosaku Kokeshi: Celebrating the Major Artists of the Creative Movement in 2022. For more information on this artist go to the following link:

Condition: Pristine meaning that the piece retains its original craft/workmanship showing a wonderfully developed patina commensurate with age, which suggests a degree of wear that corresponds to its vintage. The doll is void of damage, cracks, breakage, or repairs. This doll meets all the standards of the collectible Japanese Sosaku Kokeshi by Tsujita.