Mingei WaSabiDou Antiques and Folk CraftsWaSabiDou Antiques and Folk Crafts

Kokeshi; Nambu-kei, Iwate Prefecture

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Folk Art: Pre 1980: Item # 495937

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Kokeshi, folk toy of NE Japan. Wood, Height 9.5". This is an example of the unique Nambu-kei kokeshi from Iwate Prefecture. Of the Tohoku (NorthEast) Region where all "dentou" (traditional) kokeshi originate, Iwate may have the fewest number of craftsmen and localized traditions. Unique among these is the unpainted Nambu-kei kokeshi shown here. I have seen these mistakenly advertised on the internet as "blanks", but this particular style within the Nambu-kei classification of kokeshi is puposefully made unpainted. Old examples are somewhat hard to come by these days in Japan. This particular one was made by Sanetaro (last name Susumago? Baison?) of Hanamaki City. He was born in the 41st year of Meiji (1908) and had passed away some time back. His son, Morizo, has taken over the tradition and continues to make this type of unpainted kokeshi. I have not yet been able to date this particular work, or obtain the passage date of the maker, but am working on it. Probably, it is from the mid-1900's.