Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: "Yukiko | Snow Maiden" by Kato, Hiroshi
With just a few brush strokes, the details of decorating are typically Japanese, but very definitive. This is a rather contemporary approach to the ‘Mage’ hair design. Her face is extremely expressive, with her head and eyes tilted downwards are typically Japanese. The Kimono is flipped up on the bottom to expose the undergarment. The piece has a red stamp on the bottom representing the artist.
Condition: Excellent, original condition, with no fading or loss of color and consistent with age. This is a VERY unusual doll, and the piece meets all the standards of Kokeshi collectible Folk Art.
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Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:
Kato-san’s slender and tall figures bring memories of very traditional women in Japan. In his dolls we observe a rather contemporary approach to the ‘Mage” hair design in both form and sumi-e’ brushwork, suggesting features as well as stylistic details relating to the general design of the Kimono and the black and gold obi. His faces are extremely expressive, with a partial covering of the face and tilted heads adding an unusual aspect to one series of dolls. Typical are the scenes from nature, (flowers, mountains).
Hiroshi's stylized versions of Heian noblewomen, from families of high rank, were one of his favorite subjects. Women enjoyed a certain aspect of freedom during the period and were well educated in music, poetry, art, fashion, and calligraphy, all part of a Heian Period woman's education.
Many of these women traveled incognito, (Oshinobi Dochi), and Hiroshi's creative dolls of the subject are extremely rare. He beautifully details their elongated faces and long hair which were common for ladies of this period, and they are typically wearing attire for travel: oversized hat and a heavy coat to ward off the chill.