Vintage Traditional Yajirou Kokeshi by Endo Tsutumo
This exceptionally beautifully finished doll utilizes traditional Yajirou family elements and techniques executed with a black ink in sumi-e’ style drawing of black chrysanthemum petals in the center spot under the collar and base of the figure. The entire figure is painted is delicately painted with varying widths of horizontal stripes encircling the figure at the base and collar using a ‘Rokoru Moyo’ style line-work. The hair of the doll is very stylized with the traditional bangs and the use of the same ‘Rokoru Mayo’ bands that ring the top of the head and side hair fringes. The face has single eyelids, eyebrows, a faint pick-shaped nose, and a tiny mouth. The piece is signed in script on the bottom by the artist. Note: There is no biographical information published on this artist.
See additional writings on our website related to this subject: Under our Browse and Learn section, please refer to https://mingeiarts.com/collections/yajirou-kei-family for full details on the history and development of this style doll.
Condition: Excellent, original condition, with no fading or loss of color, and consistent with the age and standards of collectible Yajirou Family dolls. All details are perfect and as crafted.
The creators of these dolls hail from the small farming village of Yajirou-machi near Kamasaki Onsen in Miyagi Prefecture, once a farming village between two, tall mountains. The kiji-shi (woodworkers), divided their time between farming and wood-craft. Those who made kokeshi in their spare time sent their wives to the nearby Kamasaki Onsen to sell their work to tourist shops and through onsens.
Collector's note – characteristics/painting style:
The majority of this style has distinct waists and wider bases, making them very stable. Yajirou dolls are some of the most brightly painted of the traditional family set. Utilizing a veritable rainbow of colours, from the usual red and black to green, yellow, and even blue and purple, they are available in probably the widest range of shapes. The upper body usually has a hand-painted collar with horizontal stripes encircling the body, as in the Rokoru moyo style, and vertical stripes running below the waist to the base of the doll. However, Yajirou dolls can also be found with a series of chrysanthemum petals running down the front of the body, or a branch of plum blossoms as the only decoration. Some, also have a painted beret-like feature or a bun on their heads, similarly painted with a red center spot. Less common are Yajirou that have conical hats known as Suge-Gasa. Typically seen is one lid or double eyelids, cat or pick shaped nose. Yajirou kokeshi have been made from cherry wood, camellia, and maple, but the preferred wood is white dogwood, (mazuki).
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.
Notable artists:Satou Denki, b. 1909
Satou Dennai, Master
Ishikawa Tokujiro, b. 1915
Niiyama Fukutaro, Master
Sato Tatsuro, b. 1928
Sato Imasaburo, Master
Hamatsu Heizaburo, b. 1933
Niiyama Sanai, MasterYajirou
Niiyama Yoshinori, b. 1960
Niiyama Yoshitaro, Grand Master