This kokeshi doll is a traditional Japanese wooden doll consisting of only a body and a head. This particular doll, made by Tzutae Sato (b. 1906), is of the Yajiro type: it has a long, thin body and a large head that is wide at the top. The body has a faded yellow background with red and faded green bands at the waist, base, and one-quarter of the way down from the neck; these alternate with red and faded green flowers on the front and back. The doll has a red v-neck kimono neckline, and a cap of red, faded green, and yellow; one thick black band is painted on top of the head. A black fringe lines the edge of the cap. The face features thin, single-lidded eyes with large eyeballs, a cat-like nose, red cheeks, and a small red mouth. Red petals adorn the sides of the head.
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 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.
Yajiro refers to a specific village in Miyagi. Yajiro types are made in Shirioshi City as well as towns in Fukushima, Yamagata, and Gumma. Typically, they have a thick body with a cylindrical shape or one that broadens at the base, sometimes with a waist curved in. They often feature drawn linear body patterns with additional hand-painted flowers or other designs, and a colorful cap on top of the head and single-lidded eyes.