This kokeshi doll, made by the artist Yonezo Sato (b. 1909) is a traditional Japanese wooden doll consisting of only a head and a body. This particular doll is of the Togatta type. The top portion of the body is a very thick bell shape with rounded shoulders; the bottom portion is cylindrical and of the same width as the base of the bell. The doll has a small, round head. The plain body is decorated only with a red v-neck kimono neckline, one large red peony near the base and one red flower bud on a green stem with leaves at the waist. The face features single-lidded, large eyeballs, a cat-like nose, and tiny red lips. Red petals adorn the sides of the head, and there are red petals radiating from a central green spot on top of the head. The artist's signature is painted in black on the back.
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 Tohoku region in northern Japan during the Edo period (1600-1868), and there are several distinct types 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 Togatta type of kokeshi dolls 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.