Bamboo vase for ikebana
by Chikubōsai Maeda II (二代前田竹房斎) (1917-2003)
Susudake (smoked bamboo)
Tomobako and lacquered otoshi, dated 1941
Diameter: 26 cm – High: 44 cm

Maeda Chikubosai II was the Third bamboo artist designated Living National Treasure, in 1995.

This artist is the son of Maeda Chikubosai I who was pivotal in promoting individual expression in the bamboo arts. He learned bamboo from his father’s students because he born late and his father didn’t gave him enough attention. Finally, in 1945, he submitted to the Osaka Craft Exhibition and won eight subsequent awards. In 1952 he took the name of Chikubosai II and created his own style. After seeking advice from Iizuka Rokansai, his work was accepted in Nitten in 1953 and twelve times thereafter. He has many times exhibited abroad, in America and Europe. Maeda’s works can be seen in the San Francisco Asian Art Museum and Denver Art Museum, among many public and private collections in the world.

In the inner side of the tomobako, the artist dated his work using a “national calendar year” or “Japanese Imperial year” (皇紀, kōki). This unique calendar system in Japan is based on the legendary foundation of Japan by Emperor Jimmu in 660 BC. Thus 皇記 2601 秋日 (Kōki Autumn 2061) gives the date of Showa 16 or 1941.