Vintage Tiger Zodiac Sosaku Kokeshi by Takahashi, Hajime


Dimensions: 9-3/4”h

Originally a fine arts painter, Takahashi-san (1918-2002) is from Sendai, (where Traditional Kokeshi were born), in Miyagi Prefecture. His artistic background also includes time spent as a craftsman of Yuzen silk kimono dying. He is a multiple award winner in yearly Kokeshi competitions, receiving the Prime Minister’s Award, the highest honor bestowed on Sosaku Kokeshi artists. All of his work is easily recognized by the painterly designs decorating his dolls. Now deceased, his son, Akinori is carrying on the family’s tradition, but in limited production.

This particular doll is lathe-turned from Dogwood and contains the image of the crouching Tiger, fully detailed and painted in full color, specifically yellow with red detailing. The drawing shows a wonderful character with an expressive face. The name of the zodiac is written in kanji on the upper portion of the body. The most unusual quality of his dolls is that their heads are a separate element with the face of the doll typical of all Hajime’s dolls showing the hair bow on the top of the head with bangs and side fringes. The eyes are also Hajime’s expressive interpretation. His signature and stamp is on the bottom of the doll.

Vintage Condition: Excellent condition, “as is” and retains the original craft/workmanship. No discoloration, chipping/cracking, surface wear, or structural damage. 

NOTE: The Japanese zodiac is based on the solar calendar since the lunar calendar and was abandoned in 1872.

Tiger (tora) — Born 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926, 1914. Those individuals born during a particular year were said to inherit some of the personalities of that year's animal including being sensitive, stubborn, short-tempered, courageous, selfish, and slightly mean ... yet they are deep thinkers and are capable of great sympathy for those they are close to and love.