Kokeshi artisans

Hiroyuki Okamoto

Born in 1973 in Shinto, Gunma Prefecture. Hiroyuki Okamoto is the second son of Usaburo II and he started crafting kokeshi on his father's advice. Previously, he had launched an apparel brand and was involved in its sale and distribution, making the most of a sensitivity to trends he cultivated in developing his unique style. In the year he made his debut, Hiroyuki was awarded the Prize of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the highest prize, in the All-Japan Modern Kokeshi Exhibition. While he lays stress on the viewpoints of adults in his products for contests, his basic concept for general products is to "regard children's viewpoints as being important." He carves kokeshi in the hope that children will develop healthy minds. One of his original products is a kokeshi character that is fantastical and appears to have just come out of a picture book. His forms are based on mushrooms and nuts found in forests, and his products express his hope that the rich nature of Gunma’s forests will be inherited by the next generation. The simple designs and colors of his kokeshi dolls at a glance do not appear to have been over-processed and have a sense of freshness.

  • Born in 1973 in Shibukawa, Gunma Prefecture;
  • Studied under Yuuji Okamoto ;
  • Winner of many prizes, including the Prize of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
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