Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: “Yuki Michi | Snowy Road” by Shouzan, Shido (1932-1995)

Sale price$595.00 Regular price$740.00
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Dimensions: 14-1/2”h

Master Shido Shouzan was born in Oita prefecture in 1932. He was one of the first kokeshi artists to use a variety of woods in his creations, including Mulberry and persimmon, and later introduced Keyaki, (Zelkova), and Enju, (pagoda tree) for doll making. Living in Yonezawa City, he was influenced by the snowy winters, and this motif is very prominent in his works in the form of maidens wearing a Traditional blanket wrap referred to as a “Kakumaki”. This is a winter shoulder shawl which used throughout the Northern part of Japan to throw on quickly to keep a body warm on short outings. As with most of his creations, he names his works after completing them to define the piece.

Shown is an exceptionally large and heavy doll of a young girl wearing a “Kakumaki”, that is quite different from most other depictions of this type of Kokeshi. Here, the young girl is peering out of a 1-1/2” x 2-1/2” opening, (this explains why the larger head had to be dropped into the outer shell), as she traverses through the falling snow. Her face incorporates elongated slanting eyes and a drilled nose. The beautifully formed head is separately carved and attached with a dowel to a Beechwood interior base and then attached to the lathe-turned decorative finished Persimmon wood that has been lathed separately, and slipped over the inner core. This is visible because of the matting wood cap on the head of the doll. Finally, an elongated dowel attached both pieces to create a secure union of the elements. A complex process, but necessary for this oversized form. 

The doll, which is left natural to accentuate the natural graining of the wood, is finally coated with a natural candle wax, called ‘Rōsoku no rō’. Signed on the bottom of the doll. 

 The piece was published in the 2022 publication of Sosaku Kokeshi: Celebrating the Major Artists of the Creative Movement. For more information on this artist go to the following link: https://mingeiarts.com/collections/artisan-woodworker-shido-shozan-1932-1995.

Condition: Excellent, lathe-turned creation and size, for it is outstanding, impressive, and beautiful. No chips, cracks, breaks, missing pieces, or restoration, and retains its original details and finish. The piece meets all the standards of the vintage collectible Sosaku Kokeshi by Shouzan, Shido.