JAPANESE BAMBOO BASKETS
Flower Basket by Yokota Hosai
Yokota Hosai (Minesai) / 横田峰斎
1899 – 1975
26 x 26 x 24.5 cm
10 ¼ x 10 ¼ x 9 ⅝ in
Original box signed and sealed by the artist
Yokota Hosai, also known as Yokota Minesai, was an artist of consummate skill and aesthetic accomplishment. On viewing a dozen of his works, each so distinct and yet so complete, one can scarcely believe they were made by the same hand. As a Tokyo-based bamboo artist, Hosai is overshadowed by the Iizuka family line, with its generations and descendants, including Iizuka Rokansai (1890-1958) and his son Iizuka Shokansai (1919-2004), who received the National Living Treasure designation.
Hosai did not receive such public accolades, though he studied for a time under Hayashi Shogetsusai (1911-1986, teacher also to Honma Kazuaki [b. 1930] and Baba Shodo [1925-1996], among others), collaborated with Rokansai and Shogetsusai to promote bamboo art, and in the post-War period exhibited at the highest levels in Tokyo for decades on end. Such is the capriciousness of fame, as Hosai can be esteemed as one of the earliest and most accomplished modernists in bamboo art. His friendship and creative dialogue with Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999), who also collaborated with Le Corbosier (1887-1965) and Jean Prouve (1901-1984), is one of the most tantalizing but least-explored aesthetic links in 20th century bamboo art.
This basket exemplifies the bamboo art of eastern Japan. It reflects the experience of bamboo artists of mid-century Tokyo, a rapidly growing, multiform, modern city, and their interest in pure architectural figures. At the same time, this basket is deeply traditional, as in material and form it has the timeless elegance and natural beauty of ancient Shinto vessels, and a feeling of the prototypical flower basket.