TANABE Chikuunsai II (1910-2000)


Bamboo basket named “Sōsen” (double-fan)
Bamboo, rattan & lacquer
Signed Chikuunsai zō (Chikuunsai made)
ca. 1944-1955
43 x 11.3 x 17.5 (h) cm
Tomobako, original box signed by the artist
<Surface of the cover>
Sōsen Hanakago
<Back of the cover>
Tekisuikyo* / Chikuunsai zō
Mutsume-ami weaving (hexagonal)

*Tekisuikyo is the name of the place where Chikuunsai II was living before and after the World War Second for evacuation. It was between 1944 and 1955, and the signature with this description makes it possible to tell the approximate date of the piece.

An artist based in Osaka and Sakai (Kansai), Tanabe Chikuunsai II was the son of Tanabe Chikuunsai I. He was the second artist from the Tanabe dynasty to bear the name of Chikuunsai which means “cloud bamboo”. He is famous for its Chinese-style baskets, sometimes called bunjin kago (scholar’s basket). Until the mid-nineteenth century, the locally produced baskets were not signed, probably to distinguish them from more expensive imported Chinese baskets. The Tanabe family was one of the artists who signed on their works.