Watanabe Yuji Kokeshi Artist

Watanabe Yuji


Bio & Awards

Born in 1951 in Shiroishi city, Miyagi prefecture. Son of the renowned Masao Watanabe. He started creating kokeshi dolls in 1970 under his father and developed his own unique style. His dolls are decorated with extravagant and intricate kimonos featuring floral and traditional motifs and patterns as well as meticulously carved hair in symmetric and asymmetric styles. He has won a high number of awards for his beautiful dolls and several of them are permanently featured in the Nuremberg toy museum in Germany.

Prizes (partial list)

  • 1977 – All Japan Kokeshi Contest Miyagi Prefecture Governor Award (and continued to win it for 6 consecutive years).
  • 1978 – Minister of Education Award
  • 1983 – All Japan Kokeshi Contest Minister of Education Award
  • 2004 – Japan Kokeshi Association 30th Anniversary Major Award
  • 2012 – All Japan Kokeshi Contest Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award
  • 2013 – All Japan Kokeshi Contest Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award

Watanabe Yuji Signature

Here you can see samples of the artists signature.

Available Dolls for Sale

Private Collection (Not for sale)

Enjoy some of the kokeshi dolls that are in my private collection