Japanese Antique Ikebana Flower Basket | Hanakago

Vintage Japanese Smoked Bamboo Flower Basket | Takeami Ikebana Basket



Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 16-1/2”h x 10-0”dia.

An antique Japanese smoked bamboo (susutake) ikebana flower basket (hanakago) embodies the Japanese culture of appreciation for the time, dedication, and detailed simplicity – the country’s worshipping of meticulous work and its craftsmanship heritage. The basket has a twill plaited body, the spacing of which is shifted to make a distinctive undulating design through the body of the piece. The basket has a circular raft bottom (ikadazoko) and the rim is fashioned by manipulating the bamboo strips upwards (tomobuchi). This particular basket is tightly woven with a criss-cross design and detailed layering requiring the highest skills to create the rhythmic geometric patterns and form. The basket is unsigned as many earlier pieces were not signed.  

Condition: A quality Ikebana basket in excellent condition with now broken or missing elements, no damage issues, and wonderful weaving detail. Excellent and gorgeously handcrafted. 

NOTE: Japanese baskets result from meticulous time-honored techniques that a gilded master has to learn for over three decades to garner the recognition of his peers and the acute collectors. An aspiring bamboo weaver would spend three to five years observing his master at work before being allowed to even touch the bamboo. Only then does the disciple start a five to seven-year training focused on the meticulous bamboo cutting techniques, which he shall master before experimenting with the tedious techniques of bamboo weaving.

Kago, or baskets, encompass a wide variety of designs and uses in Japanese culture. Refined ikebana baskets for flowers or more utilitarian sieves, winnowers, and strainers: all represent a wealth of bamboo craftsmanship. The use of bamboo in the construction of baskets has much to do with its accessibility. Bamboo sprouts each year and takes about a year to grow to full size so that, within the space of a couple of years, bamboo is ready for use. The essential beauty of bamboo is accompanied by superior qualities of strength and resilience.