Vintage Traditional Yajirou Sugegasa Kokeshi by Niiyama, Hisashi


Dimensions: 5-3/4”h

The creator of this type of doll 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) in their spare time sent their wives to the nearby Kamasaki Onsen to sell their work to tourist shops and through Onsens (hot springs).

This is a less common and very rare Yajirou Kokeshi that is shown with a conical hat known as Sugegasa, (dimpled hat), an accessory that was almost forgotten in history. As seen in this Kokeshi the hat represents the older conical hat simulating the weaving of dry grass and was worn as efficient protection against both sun and rain, but here takes on a more “dressed” look with its red strips and ornamented Kimono. Her body is painted in the red beginning with the understated motif with a distinctive narrow waist which is emphasized with a brightly colored red band with the figure terminating in a wider base. She has the standard double eyelids, pick-shaped nose, and hair fringes 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 a Yajirou artist born in 1915 and studied under his father and Master: Niiyama, Hisaji.