“Good Fortune and Long Life” Handled Flower Basket
Iizuka Rokansai (1890-1958)
Item number: T-2256
Size: H 11.5" x W 13" x D 12" (29.1 x 32.9 x 30.4 cm)
Susudake bamboo; free-style plaiting, wrapping
Signed underneath Rōkansai
Fitted wood tomobako storage box inscribed outside Hanakago (Flower basket); inscribed and signed inside Mei Fukuju Rōkansai saku (Named “Good Fortune and Long Life,” made by Rōkansai); seals: Rō, kan, sai
Rōkansai enhances the complex but informal weaving of this piece through careful choice of materials, combining split strands of bamboo which have darkened to different colors due to differing periods of exposure to smoke from the hearth of an old farmhouse. Especially during the 1930s, he coined many new names for his works and typically applied them to several different pieces, but this may be the only recorded basket named “Good Fortune and Long Life.” The use of three linked seals Rō, Kan, Sai in the box inscription confirms that it is an early example of Rōkansai’s informal sō style (see Tochigi Kenritsu Bijutsukan (Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts), Iizuka Rōkansai ten (Iizuka Rokansai: Master of Modern Bamboo Crafts), Utsunomiya, 1989, p. 118. For a similar basket dated to 1933, see Tochigi Kenritsu Bijutsukan (Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts), Take no mezame: Tochigi take kōgei no seika (Masterpieces of Bamboo Art In Tochigi), Utsunomiya, 2014, pl. 41.