Height: 10 inches, 25.5 cm
Width: 3 inches, 7.5 cm

Wooden kokeshi doll by Takeda Masashi

Japan, Showa period, 1950’s

A plain wooden model of a doll, kokeshi, the body inset with a rounded head with a pendant knot and painted with two bangs covering most of the face. Two thickly painted black stripes represent the eyes, two thin black stripes the eyebrows and a thin red stripe the mouth. The base is signed by the artist: Masahi.


Kokeshi are simple wooden dolls with no arms or legs that have been crafted for more than 150 years as a toy for children. They are handmade from wood, have a simple trunk and head with a few thin, painted lines to define the face.The body often has floral designs painted in red, black, and sometimes green, purple, blue, or yellow inks, and covered with a layer of wax. The artist Takeda Masashi (1930 – 2015) was from Yonezawa City, Yamagata Prefecture. Between 1967 and 1975 Takeda Masashi received many prizes at the All Japan Kokeshi Competition.  In 1988 he was awarded the prize of a person of technical excellence by Yonezawa City, Yamagata Prefecture.