Big vase for ikebana called “Daruma
Yonezawa Jiro (b. 1956)
56 x 56 x 63 (h) cm

Jiro Yonezawa has been a bamboo basket maker and artist for over 35 years. He studied at the Beppu Vocational Arts Training Center in 1981 and spent a year as an apprentice to Masakazu Ono. He continued his training at the Oita Prefectural Beppu Industrial Art Research Institute. He lived and worked in the United States from 1989 to 2007. While In the US, his work became bolder and larger and he started making sculptural pieces influenced by American art. In 2008 he returned to Japan and built a new studio in Oita Prefecture.

He has had numerous solo exhibitions and has shown in group exhibitions internationally. His work is in many public and private collections such as the Microsoft Corporation in Seattle, the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Portland Art Museum in Oregon, and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.


Bamboo when cut, grows back. This regenerative quality lured my imagination and drew me into becoming a maker of bamboo objects. The images, sounds, sensual and emotional experiences of daily life find their way through my hands to reside in woven sculptures and vessels. The process of preparing strips to weave and then weaving forms from those strips is inherently meditative. The cacophony of life dissipates; the sculpture emerges vigorous and vibrant. Form, contrast, balance and the interplay of space, color, and texture are the elements I consider. With each new series I strive to be innovative and try to tease out another emotion from the woven bamboo shape.


1981-1982 Oita Prefectural Beppu Industrial Arts Research Institute Beppu City, Oita Prefecture
1980-1981 Ono Masakatsu Apprenticeship
1980-1981 Beppu Vocational Arts Training Center, Bamboo Craft, Beppu City, Oita Prefecture

AWARDS & HONORS (selected)
2016 Grand Prize 38th Nihon Shin-Kougei-ten, Japan New Craft Exhibition
2016 NHK Saga Award Kyushu Shin-Kougei-ten, Kyushu New Craft Exhibition
2015 Grand Prize 37th Nihon Shin-Kougei-ten, Japan New Craft Exhibition
2015 Special Award Kurashi no Naka no Takekogei, Bamboo Craft Exhibition, Beppu, Japan
2014 Special Award Kurashi no Naka no Takekogei, Bamboo Craft Exhibition, Beppu, Japan
2011 Oita Governor’s Award Kyushu Shin-Kougei-ten, Kyushu New Craft Exhibition
2009 Award Oita Prefectural Art Exhibition, Oita, Japan
2006 Cotsen Prize – Celebration of the Next Generation
2002 RACC Grant – Project Grant – Bamboo Artistry, Japan Summerfest, Regional Art & Culture Council,
Portland, Oregon
1993 Award Ninth Celebration of the Arts, Arts in Oregon Council, Salem, Oregon

2016 Chikuei, Yakumo-charyo, Tokyo
2016 CANS Tea House, Taipei, Taiwan
2014 Butters Galley, Portland. Oregon
2012 Portland Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon
2010 William Traver Gallery, Tacoma, Washington
2009 Butters Galley, Portland. Oregon
2008 Portland Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon
2007 William Traver Gallery, Seattle, Washington
2006 Jane Sauer Thirteen Moons Gallery Santa Fe, New Mexico
2005 Cervini Haas Gallery Scottsdale, Arizona
2005 Thirteen Moons Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
2001 Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, Illinois
2001 Butters Gallery, Portland, Oregon
1998 Butters Gallery, Portland, Oregon
1997 Art in the Governor’s Office, Salem, Oregon
1996 Butters Gallery, Portland, Oregon
1995 Pro-Art Gallery- Breaking the Rules St. Louis, Missouri