Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: “‘Sakura no hana | Cherry Blossom” by Watanabe, Masao (1917-2007)


Dimensions: 12-0”h

This delightful doll won the Prime Minister’s Award and was presented to the Beatles in 1965, after their appearance in Japan with Sir Joseph Lockwood, Chairman of EMI Record Distributors, England. Watanabe, arguably, the most popular and prolific of the 20th/c Sosaku Kokeshi artists, began his craft in the early 1950s. A multiple award winner in Kokeshi competitions around the world, his works are permanently exhibited at the Nuremberg Toy Museum in Germany.

Watanabe-san is famous for not only minimally turning beautiful woods but also respected for his use of variegated high-gloss lacquer, which he used to add another dimension to the dolls. In this case, however, Watanabe-san uses a type of natural, or colored candle wax, (Rōsoku no rō), in finishing this Spring representation of the most famous and loved Cherry Blossom season. Her eyes are typically looking downward, in respect, a small indication of a red nose, with just a hint of bangs peeping out of the tight head covering. The doll has Watanabe-san’s inscription, as well as his impressed stamp, identifying the piece. 

Condition: Excellent meaning that the piece retains its original craft/workmanship showing a wonderful-developed patina commensurate which suggests a degree of wear that corresponds to its vintage. It is void of damage, cracks, breakage, or repairs and meets all the standards of the collectible Sosaku Kokeshi.