Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi entitled “Dojo | Young Lady” by Tanaka, Harumasa
These three examples by Tanaka-san beautifully illustrate the accomplished use of form and unornamented surface. The most unusual aspect, of course, is the ‘Bob’ hair design style, which is uniform in each doll of this style and adds elegance to his interpretation of young schoolgirls. She has upswing eyes and a red dot for a nose. The doll is made from Birch wood. There is a very unusual and an older inscription identifying the artist and this special collection of dolls.
Tanaka-san is acknowledged as a leading member of the Sosaku movement in the 1950s-60s and is a multiple award winner. He additionally was recognized for his creation, Kantsubaki, (Winter Camellia). Additionally, his doll “Dojo”, Young Lady), won the Prime Minister’s Award in 1965 at the 12th Annual All Nippon Japan Kokeshi Competition.
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.
Tanaka-san is acknowledged as a leading member of the Sosaku movement in the 1950s-60s, and is a multiple award winner. His doll “Dojo”, (Young Lady), won the Prime Minister’s Award in 1965 at the 12th Annual All Nippon Japan Kokeshi Competition. He additionally was recognized with his creation entitled: Kantsubaki, (Winter Camellia).
Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:
Tanaka beautifully illustrates the accomplished use of form and un-ornamented surface. The artist uses wood to express feeling, related to the casual hair treatment and abstract, almost 1920s treatment of her haori. Modern thinking young girls loved these abstract flamboyant designs, which transformed their lives and connected them to the West. The most unusual aspect of course is the hair design style, which is uniform in each piece and adds elegance to his interpretation of the figure. His abstract motifs are typically flowers, i.e., poppy in colored lacquer, or the piece is left totally unadorned and relies solely on the carved form. The eyes are most expressive with a simple red dot to express the nose.