Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi Entitled, “Hemp Girl | Henpugāru” by Tsujita, Ryozo


Dimensions: 18-0”h

Tsujita-san began making Sosaku dolls in 1961 in his hometown of Odawara, where he resided until his death. A multi-award winner, he won the coveted Prime Minister’s Award in 1981. He is one of fifty, (50), local Sosaku artists featured in a small museum in nearby Hakone, now closed.

This piece entitled Aki, has an unusual treatment, with the turned head of lightly tinted dogwood, (mizuki), that has meticulously rendered grey hair, which contrasts from the light-colored head and the black textured body. The artist took advantage of the natural grooved wood while being turned and then stained it black to add to its elegance. The Obi in turn is inset and painted with an undercoat of brick/tawny color, with hemp, (Asa) motif, in silver and gold enamel. (In early times, “asa” was an important source of cloth, and hemp leaves themselves formed the basis of a variety of hemp patterns, as shown in this beautiful motif). History tells us that the ‘God of Hemp’ is revered at Oasahiko Shrine in Tokushima. The piece is signed on the bottom by the artist and on the back of the body, the hand-scribed name of the Onsen, (hot springs, bathing facilities, and traditional inn), which sold his dolls.

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.