Vintage Traditional Tougatta Ejiko Kokeshi by Sugawara Satoshi
Dimensions: 4-0”h x 3-1/4” dia.
Offered is a Tougatta Ejiko that originated in the Tougatta Onsen in the Miyagi Prefecture, and was subsequently produced also at Aone Onsen, the cities of Sendai, and Izumi. The Ejiko’s origin is derived from a folk toy that is called an Izume.ko Doll, (Izume.Ko means “Isume baby” which dates from the early 1910s. The Ejiko is the only other doll form that transcends all ten+one different traditional types. While this form is not considered a separate member of the ten original families, it later was accepted by collectors as its own entity, and as a traditional doll in its own right.
As with this doll, Ejiko follows the same basic short, rotund style. This particularly older doll has bangs split in two with side fringes, thin narrow one stroke eyes, a cat-type nose, (Neko-Bana), and a red expressive mouth. Illustrated on the body are very stylized plums (Ume) blossom designs specifically associated with Aone Onsen. Its body is also decorated in a circular-style painting known as Rokoru Moyo, which is done as the doll is turned on the lathe. The piece is signed on the bottom by the artist.
For further information see, Ejiko | Izume.Ko | Nemariko in our Japanese Vintage Toy section.
Condition: Very Good condition having excellent care and handling affording each doll age-old elegance. Retains the original craft/workmanship showing a wonderfully-developed patina commensurate with age and unrestored. Each piece meets all the standards of Traditional Kokeshi Ejiko collectibles and is an exceptional piece for the collectors of Tougatta Family dolls.
Tougatta dolls are thought to be the oldest family members of the Traditional school. They originated in the Tougatta Onsen in the Miyagi Prefecture, and were subsequently being produced also at Aone Onsen, and the cities of Sendai, and Izumi. In the 1960s, Togatta craftsman founded the Tougatta Kiji Union, a cooperative that was able to gain the rights for reserved wood use from the Japanese Ministry of Forestry. The Tougatta style are easily found by collectors in an interesting range of variations.
Collector's note – characteristics/painting style:
They are easily recognized by their narrow, columnar body shapes, tapering at the shoulders to a head that is wider than the rest of the doll, and more angular than round. Most Tougatta dolls have bangs split in two with side fringes, thin narrow eyes, and a split nose or cat-type nose. Several have paintings of chrysanthemums, (Kiku), plums (Ume), and iris (Ayame), usually in very stylized designs. The dolls decorated with plum branches and blossoms are associated with Aone Onsen. There is also a group which have ‘banded’ bodies. These are decorated in a circular-style painting known as Rokoru Moyo, which is done as the doll is turned on the lathe. Here again, the head is a squeeze-in type, but cannot be turned to produce a ‘squeak’. The head is covered with a painting of a chrysanthemum.
NOTE: Both Yajirou ad Togutta dolls are sometimes created with loose rings circling the waists. Literally carved from the same wood as the body, a very meticulous method! This treatment is referred to as 'Yamiyo' style kokeshi. It is also seen on Tsuchiyu dolls, though very rarely.
Asakura Kinu, b. 1918
Asakura Eiji, Master
Midorikawa Masando, b. 1926
Sato Tetsuro, Grand Master