Naoko, the girls and I are currently at my parents' house on the East Coast of the United States, and it's been quite interesting going through my mother's kokeshi collection. She has been bringing back modern kokeshis from Japan since 1979, and over the last few years Naoko and I have introduced her to traditional kokeshis of which she now has a small but solid collection. For the next few blog entries I'll show some of those kokeshis and discuss each one in detail.
A view looking down from the top reveals that this is indeed a Yajiro kokeshi since it has the signature bulls eye on the crown. The use of purple is also fairly unique to Yajiros, and while it's a bit difficult to see the largest head stripe above the hairline is a deep purple.
An examination of the bottom of the kokeshi has Mr. Sato's signature, which he has signed with just his first name Seiko 誠孝. I didn't ask him why he signed it this way, but I've noticed that the craftsmen sign their work in various ways and this is but one example. Of course it would be pointless to put just "Sato" since not only might collectors mix up his kokeshis with his wife's and sons' pieces, but also with other kokeshi makers named Sato which is a very common family name among Yajiro and other craftsmen all over Tohoku.