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Collection Tier:
Tier 2

Decorative Arts ➔ Kokeshi

This creative babysitter kokeshi has an off-center head with a bow decoration and red hair ornament. The black body is decorated with floral designs and has a young child's head sticking out at the top. It stands on a square black base and has a red seal of Japanese on the underside that translates to "Takeda Masashi" who was the artist. Kokeshi that feature a young child on the back are often referred to as babysitter kokeshi. This kokeshi is accompanied by its box and is titled Yuuyake Komori. 

Kokeshi are wooden dolls lacking arms or legs that were first produced in the Tohuku region of Japan. They were originally intended to be used as children's toys however they have become popular among collectors and are often used as decoration. Kokeshi can be categorized into two groups, traditional and creative. Traditional dolls are simple in design and are divided into eleven different types that coincide with the area they were created. These types have particular shapes and designs to help distinguish them. Creative kokeshi were first produced after World War II and feature unique designs, shapes, and colors that are not found in their traditional counterparts. 
circa 1950 – 1980
3.5" h 5" w 9.5" d; 7.5" h 4" w 3.5" d
Gift of Etta M. Hesselink
Etta M. Hesselink
Etta Hesselink and her husband John served the Reformed Church as missionaries and teachers in Japan from 1953 to 1973, and they and their five children all developed a deep appreciation for Japanese art and culture. 

Takeda Masashi
Takeda Masashi (武田 まさし) was born in Yonezawa City, Japan in 1930. He studied as a dento craftsman but is known for his creative kokeshi pieces. 

In Japan, family names, or last names, are often written first and given names, or first names, are written last. 

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