“Mount Fuji” Handled Flower Basket
Iizuka Shokansai (1919-2004)
Item number: T-2291
Size: H 18.6" x W 9.7" x L 19.5" (47.2 x 24.7 x 49.5 cm)
Bamboo; parallel-line construction, wrapping, knotting; black-lacquered bamboo otoshi (water container)
Signed on the handle: Shōkansai saku (Made by Shōkansai)
Fitted wood tomobako storage box inscribed outside Hanakago (Flower basket); inscribed and signed inside Fugaku Shōkansai saku (Mount Fuji, made by Shōkansai); seal: Shōkansai
Starting probably with Tanabe Chikuunsai I (1877–1937) in the early 1920s, many Japanese bamboo artists have taken Mount Fuji, Japan’s sacred peak, as their inspiration and Iizuka Shōkansai’s father Rōkansai had pioneered this particular form of Fuji basket at least as early as 1934, using “parallel-line construction”—held in place by knots around the top of the basket rather than plaiting—and making the sides slope gently inward.1 Following his father’s lead, here Shōkansai cut and arranged his lengths of split bamboo so that the nodes created a controlled but somewhat irregular pattern, suggesting clouds and mist floating across the sides of Mount Fuji.
1 For an example from an exhibition of Rōkansai’s work held in 1934, 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, p. 127 (No. 010 A-2).