This kokeshi doll is a traditional Japanese wooden doll consisting of only a head and a body. This particular doll is of the Tōgatta type. The body features a floral design depicting three chrysanthemums painted in red and a faint purple band around its shoulder and waist. Just a few thin painted lines define the face into crescent-shaped, double-lidded eyes, a pine needle-shaped nose, small red lips, and black eyebrows and hair. Red petals are painted on the sides of the head. The doll has been covered with a layer of wax for sheen. The bottom is marked with the signature of the artist (Yoshiaki Sato, b. 1906).
Kokeshi are traditional Japanese dolls distinctive for their lack of arms and legs. Kokeshi are often painted red and black, occasionally with yellow as well. They originated as souvenirs for visitors to the hot springs of the Tōhoku region in northern Japan during the Edo period (1600-1868). There are several distinct types of kokeshi according to size, shape, facial details, and so on, each associated with a different onsen (hot spring) of that area. Most kokeshi are signed and dated on the base.
The Tōgatta type of kokeshi dolls are made in Tōgatta (Miyagi), Aone, Shiroishi, Akiu, Inago, Sendai (also Miyagi), Tendō (Yamagata), Hanamaki, Yuda (Iwate), and Noboribetsu (Hokkaidō), Japan. They typically have slender bodies, large heads, red radial designs on their heads with a green circle at the base of the front bang, and flower patterns on the body (usually layered chrysanthemums, although sometimes cherry or plum blossoms). Almost all have long, narrow, crescent-shaped eyes with both upper and lower eye lines and pine needle-shaped noses, but some also have small, cat-like noses.