Vintage Traditional Tsuchiyu Sugegasa Kokeshi by Watanabe, Sadao


Dimensions: 7-1/8”h

Tsuchiyu Family dolls originated in the 1840s at Tsuchiyu Onsen in Fukushima Prefecture, with the work of Sakuma Kamegoro, a kiji-shi who had made various wood items for visitors to the Tsuchiyu Onsen. This is a less common and very rare Tsuchiyu Kokeshi that is shown with a conical hat known as Sugegasa, an accessory almost forgotten in history. Only on traditional occasions, people are still wearing this Japanese traditional hat. As seen in this Kokeshi the hat represents the older conical hat that is very wide-brimmed having both concentric circles in red, purple, and green on the top called Janome, which mimicked lacquered umbrellas, (Kasa).

The circular banded body is painted in red colors beginning with a simple motif that is more free-form than the typical variable and delicate lifework of the ‘Rokuro Moyo’ treatment. This artist is famous for being the most accomplished in the circular style of painting, as he took several steps further by either reversing the line at some point or by zig-zagging the lines periodically. Both add a dynamic element to the overall treatment of the body.

This doll has eyes called futae-mabuta, (double lid), and noses called tare-bana, (long nose), and hair fringes with slight bangs framing the face. This doll is made from cherry wood and signed on the bottom by the artist.

Condition: Excellent, original condition, with no fading or loss of color and consistent with age and standards of collectible Folk Art. All details are perfect and as crafted.

NOTE: There is no other biographical information published on the artist other than he was born in 1938 and studying under his father and Master: Watanabe, Sadami born in 1917.