Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi
Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: “Winter Girl” by Shouzan, Shido
Descriptive qualities& condition:
The northern villagers have traditionally been farmers and silkworm cultivators, who, in spite of bad weather, had to move about with little effort and care. These Minomushi have been conceived based on traditional pitched roofs throughout the Showa Valley region. That treatment was known locally as “Te o inotte”, (praying hands), a reference to the fact that the unique roofs look like praying hands, and were built to shed the heavy snows that fall in the winter.
Here we see the use of the pointed Minomushi, (Rain/Snow Coat), in natural growth-patterned and colored woods, with expressive faces and red undergarments to accent each doll. The doll is signed by the artist.
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.
Shido-san is considered by Kokeshi collectors and critics alike to be arguably the most influential artist in the world of Sosaku Kokeshi doll making. Shido-san’s main focus was depicting unadorned Northern girls in the traditional “Mino”, or Snow Coat, but he also produced tall, thin dolls, which were sparsely decorated. His keen sense of design, minimal use of color, and simple elegant shapes set him apart from his peers, making him one of the most collectible artists emerging from the creative period of the ‘60s. He is a winner of the Prime Minister’s Award, among many other awards.
Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:
Shido-san loved studying the use of combining different types of wood to gain the desired effect and to give dimension to his pieces. He also enjoyed creating slender, tall dolls to support the fact that they resemble the tall, thin trees seen throughout Japan. He incorporated a repetitive textural pattern called ‘Harmonic Chatter work’ to enhance the natural qualities of the wood on many of his works.
Shido-san particularly enjoyed the textural qualities of ‘Chattering’ on the rain/snow coat, (Minomushi), which is a favorite theme, executed with minimal painted ornamentation, with an emphasis on the natural wood. In general, it is said the Japanese culture is one of modesty and humility. Occasionally we see different types of headdress, one of which he called a ‘Tsunokakushi’, which is a wide headresses or hood, which covered elaborate hairstyles. We are told that the Japanese people regulate their behavior and response by reading faces and the eyes of others. Here, as well as elsewhere, you will see many examples of different characteristics of the eye is expressions. His most famous doll was called “mai”, a dancer, which was an elegant and slender doll created in 1970. This doll exhibited traditional hair design with an emphasis on a brightly colored “obi” which brings forth the best use of complex geometry to create traditional Japanese clothing elements.
Shido-san was a prolific artist/woodworker of Kokeshi dolls. We additionally see unusual subjects focused on Zen Buddhism and figures of Daruma, (Bodhidharma) of which most were made in a “roly-poly” type figure seen throughout festivals in Japan.
One of the most beautiful pieces I have purchased in over 10 years
Delightful and well written book
A great doll
You did the subject justice
Truly opened my eyes
Detailed textual information & beautiful photographs
Another great Kokeshi book edition
After we purchased the first one, we fell irresistibly in love
We have amassed a small collection that we display proudly.
I love my new jewelry box!!
Delightful Kokeshi book
Oh my goodness! She has arrived and she is divine!
Thank you for bringing such gorgeous items to our attention – these Kokeshis are ‘works of art’ and we are lucky to be able to purchase them and bring them into our lives and homes.
I had to send you a photo of her with her new family and I have to say, as you predicted, she fits in beautifully.
I shall keep an eye on your website for further ‘treasures’.
Mingei Arts can't be beat!
Shopping through the items in this store is like treasure hunting, without the hunting.
I could not be happier with my three new Kokeshi
Opened my eyes to the diversity and beauty of an amazing art form
Great spinning top
Thank you for sending this book to me