Jyurōjin hanakago hōbichiku



Bamboo vase for ikebana
by TANABE Chikuunsai II (1910-2000)
Bamboo hōbichiku, also called “Phoenix tail bamboo
Tomobako and lacquered bamboo otoshi
Diameter: 13 cm – High: 25 cm

Hōbichiku is the commun name for any variety of bamboo nemagaridake that has darkended naturally through decades of exposure to smoke from a kitchen hearth. “Nemagaridake” (Sasa kurilensis) refers to any of a number of varieties of dwarf bamboo that are often used as hōbichiku.

An artist based in Osaka and Sakai, 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 baskets. The Tanabe were among the first artists to sign their works.