Vintage Traditional Tsugaru Ohwani Kokeshi entitled: “Rabbit Pounding Mochi on the Moon” by Mamiya, Masao


Dimensions: 10-1/4”h 

The rabbit, as well as the hare, have long been associated with moon deities and may signify rebirth or resurrection. They may also be symbols of fertility or sensuality, and they appear depicted on this wonderfully lathe-turned and painted Kokeshi. With this legend in mind, the Japanese began to incorporate “Usage” learning to understand the curious and affectional nature of rabbits, and in this case, pounding Mochi on the Moon.

Tsugaru is the newest of the ten traditional Kokeshi family of dolls for which this piece was created in 1942. One of the distinguishing features of this doll begins with the decoration of the head with black rings on the top of the head with swilling water motif in blue, and hair and side fringes painted with brush strokes in solid black. The face incorporates a lidded eye and a round “Maru-Bata” nose. The most unusual aspect is the free-form black and bluish-gray line work defining the garment with a folksy rendering of a standing rabbit pounding Mochi on a block that reads “Beautiful Center of Water”. The piece has a script signature of the artist on the bottom on the doll.

Condition: Excellent with no imperfections or color loss. Museum quality piece and a perfect doll for the collector of the Tsugaru Family of Kokeshi folk art genre.