At yesterday's kokeshi event at Tachikawa Station I got Naoko this fantastic Owani Kokeshi 大鰐系こけしby craftsman Mr. Shimazu Sei'ichi 嶋津誠一さん. We visited Mr. Shimazu a couple of years ago at his home at Owani Onsen 大鰐温泉 during a summer adventure to Aomori, so I was very pleased to see this available in Tachikawa. Owani kokeshis are one of two branches of the Tsugaru Kokeshi family, and in my opinion they are the most primitive-looking of all the traditional kokeshis. That primitive quality is done on purpose of course, giving these kokeshis their charm. Owani kokeshis tend to use lots of bright yellow on the bodies, and have big, surprised-looking eyes. This is a very nice piece that will add nicely to our collection.
|Mr. Shimazu's signature is on the left, and a simplified version of "Owani" on the right.|