Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi | Transitional Style entitled: “Daruma | Bodhidharma” by Shibuya, Shinraku


Dimensions: 11-0”h

Firstly less discuss what Transitional Style means of this RARE Kokeshi. Transitional identifies that there is a balance of traditional and creative components in its design and in this case incorporates Kijiyama-style treatment of the inverted egg shape head and face with a creative motif being Daruma. These renditions of Daruma, like many in Japan, are made using black and white paint to create the image. White and red are traditionally colors of most Daruma robes. 

White, emphasizes learning and knowledge in Buddhism and is said to cut the delusion of ignorance turning into the wisdom of reality. It is the symbol of spiritual and physical purity, and is always present in Shinto rituals. Artists working in the sumi-e’ style of painting achieve a suggestion of detail by using different intensities of ink and line work. Unpainted areas of the doll give form and volume. Here one see the unique Kijiyama neck treatment which is not used in any other family dolls. The lathe-turning allows the graceful flow from the head to the body. Additionally the treatment of the hair with a hair with bangs, and side hair fringes, along with meditative eyes, expressive mouth/lips, long ears and elongated ear lobes ears, (representing religious wisdom, knowledge and compassion), and the characteristic crane shaped eye brows (long life). Here on the body of the doll is shown the founder of Zen Buddhism, enveloped in his white monk’s hooded (cowled) robe. A true symbol of love and harmony. After the turning and carving the figure was finished with a type of natural candle wax,(Rosoku no ro). The name of the piece, with the artist's beautiful hand script signature, and red impressed stamp is on the back of the figure. Only on rare occasions or for a special person did Shibuya-san sign his religious dolls.

For Additional Information on the Kijiyama Family style see:

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.