Vintage Omiyage Kokeshi | Bathing Scene from Inatori Onsen

Vintage Omiyage Kokeshi | Bathing Scene from Inatori Onsen

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A playful depiction of a bathing scene that intertwines humor, tradition, and craftsmanship in a single piece.

The main figure showcases a man enjoying a bath, his legs humorously protruding from a wooden tub, with the Japanese phrase "ぬげちゃった" (Nugechatta - which can be loosely translated to "Oops, it slipped off") written on it, adding a light-hearted, cheeky element to the piece. Adjacent to him is a creature that is a "Kappa" - a mythical water creature in Japanese folklore. Kappa, often associated with water and known to challenge humans to sumo wrestling matches, are also believed to be mischievous creatures that play pranks, particularly in bathhouse (onsen) settings, making its presence in this bathing scene both fitting and amusing.

Perched nearby is a petite Kokeshi, crafted to resemble a small bird, perhaps a sparrow, adding a tender and charming touch to the overall scene. The base of the piece is inscribed with "稲取" (Inatori), referencing Inatori Onsen, a renowned hot spring area in Japan, tying the piece back to the country’s rich onsen culture.

Height: 13.5 cm

This Kokeshi figure, with its amusing bath scene, not only serves as a charming decorative item but also encapsulates a slice of Japanese culture, folklore, and the nation’s love for onsen, making it a delightful addition to any collection or space.

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