Monday, March 3, 2014

Four New Kokeshis 新しいこけし (四体)

As serious enthusiasts Naoko and I routinely add new kokeshis to our collection. A side effect of this is that the number in our possession has grown so large that I don't always have the chance to pay close attention to every one that comes into our hands. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to find the following four kokeshis living in our house.

To be honest, since Naoko gave me this beautiful piece as a present the other day I know exactly where it came from and when I got it. It's a Naruko kokeshi 鳴子系こけし with stylized cosmos flowers (I believe) painted on the front, something I've never seen on a Naruko before. Eagle-eyed readers out there can probably tell that this was made by someone in the Kakizawa family, but who? The craftsman is Mrs. Kakizawa Mariko 柿澤真理子さん, whom we have met in the past at the Kakizawa workshop. We have acquired kokeshis by the father and son, but not by her for some reason. Anyway, as you can see it's a really fantastic kokeshi.

The next one is a Yamagata kokeshi 山形系こけし by Mr. Shida Kikuhiro 志田菊宏さん. Apparently we got it last November up in Yamagata, but somehow I never quite paid attention to it. And that's a shame because it's absolutely delightful  I'm especially struck by the hair, and Mr. Shida's eyes are also extremely realistic (which I like) while the body design is unique and fetching.

Next is a 4-inch Togatta kokeshi 遠刈田系こけし that Naoko received at a Tokyo Kokeshi Friends meeting as an omiyage kokeshi. I like this smug little guy by Mr. Sato Eihiro 佐藤英宏さん. At least, I think his face is smug, or even arrogant. It's definitely not smily, or serene, or content -- the sorts of emotions typically expressed by traditional kokeshis.

The last sample is another Togatta kokeshi, this one by Mr. Sato Yasuhiro 佐藤保裕さん whom we met last November up in Yamagata. All I can say about this exquisite work of art is "wow." The face, the body shape, the head shape, the eyes and eyebrows, the pattern of paint on the kimono. Yes, it is wearing a kimono is you look closely at the neck area. Overall, a kokeshi I could look at again and again.

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