Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: “Mujitsu no kodomo | Innocent Child” by Watanabe, Masao


Dimensions: 7-0”h

Offered is a wonderful doll in the image of a young boy showing hair falling over their foreheads, side hair fringes, big questioning eyes, or faces looking downward. The boy is wearing a jack, (Haori), in which the doll emphasis on different woods. Most likely because of the Japanese interest in not wasting anything. Throughout Japanese history, any scraps of material were initially used to make Kokeshi. This is known as ‘Mottainai’, meaning to not waste. This treatment conveys a feeling of awe and appreciation for any material that has the potential for creating something else. The doll has Watanabe-san’s inscription and stamp identifying the piece and maker.

From an interview with Watanabe-san, children facing the after-effects of war greatly left a mark on his heart, which may have been the basis for emphasis on children-inspired Kokeshi. During the War with Japan, and with the internment of the American Japanese in the United States he stated that one-half of the population affected were children, many of which were separated from their parents. The traditional structure of the Japanese family, both in Japan and in the United States, depended on its close bonds and respect for elders. This was undermined by the war, with young children suffering greatly.

Condition: Excellent meaning that the piece retains its original craft/workmanship showing a wonderful-developed patina commensurate which suggests a degree of wear which corresponds to vintage Folk Craft. It meets all the standards of the collectible Sosaku Kokeshi.