Ikebana Basket

Ikebana basket (hanakago) made of bamboo wickerwork of elongated cylindrical shape. Accompanied by a natural bamboo vase and a carrying box.

Signed Nakata Kinseki (1902-1959) on the underside of the basket (錦石作, Kinseki saku, “made by Kinseki). He is a disciple of Iizuka Hôsai II (1872-1934). Iizuka Hôsai II, originally from Tochigi Prefecture, moved to Tokyo in 1910 where he continued the family tradition of bamboo art. He trained his brothers and Nakata Kinseki[1].
Transport box with the artist’s signature and seal.

The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art holds one of his piece : Nakata Kinseki, Tea Ceremony Chest, Shôwa era, 1940. Timber, bamboo and rattan. H. 16 1/4 in. (41.3 cm); W. 15 1/2 in. (39.4 cm); D. 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm). Inv. N° 2019.425.29a, b.

Ikebana or Ka-do (the way of flowers) is a traditional Japanese art of flower arrangement. Contrary to Western floral art, ikebana does not aim to emphasize only the beauty of flowers and the harmony of colors. This art wants to value the vase, the stems, the leaves, the branches as much as the flower itself. The structure of the flower arrangement is based on three symbols: the sky, the earth and humanity.
Ikebana is a tradition of floral art that dates back over thirteen centuries. Japan received the floral art from China in the early 7th century. The Tang Dynasty was then spreading throughout the Eastern world and Japanese ambassadors brought back with Buddhism the custom of floral offerings – kuge – to Buddhist altars and stupas.

The ambassador Ono no Imoko became the Senmu priest and was the first in Japan to codify the floral art, preferring to the Confucian exuberance the Buddhist sobriety and the classical rigor of the Trinitarian principle that we still find today in many Japanese bouquets.

Nakata Kinseki (1902-1959)
Japan – Showa era (1926-1989), mid-20th century
Height : 13 in (33 cm) – Diameter : 4,6 in (11,7 cm)

[1] Joe EARLE and alli., Baskets. Masterpieces of Japanese Bamboo Art, 1850-2015, Stark Studios Limited editions , 2017: pp. 474-479 n° 203-205, p. 555