- Provenance research underway.
Object is a bulbous shaped bamboo container, with a wide mouth and tight fitting lid. Four feet raise the body slightly off the ground, and a twisted double stranded bamboo handle attached to both sides of the vessel extends high above the lid. A brown vine material is used to secure the handle and as part of the finishing to the interior of the basket.
The bottom and sides of the basket are woven in two separate patterns with corresponding differences in color and texture. The bottom has a close weave twined base, roughly 26 centimeters square, with wide warp and alternating one wide/three narrow strips as weft. The interior surface color of the bamboo is a greenish-yellow. The narrow weft edges are cut, bent under, and covered with wide strips. These two edges are then lashed with brown vine material, which is also sewn around the opposing sides to form a square.
The sides of the basket continue the wide greenish-yellow weave, simple twine. From the exterior, the tan surface color of the weft predominates, creating a distinctive contrast from the interior square. The rim is plain and rounded, with wide strips of bamboo tightly lashed around the internal structure. Under the rim is an additional thick band of bamboo, fitted tightly in place. The sturdy handle is woven into the body of the basket and tightly wrapped and knotted with vine material about halfway up on both sides.
The lid has a flanged rim, fits snugly to the body and is woven from the center in a circular close weave twined technique, similar to the basket body. At the center, the warps are raised to accomodate a hollow section of bamboo woven in, to serve as a handle.
According to traditional Japanese measure, a lidded container of this size holds one "kan" of dried sardines (3.75 kilograms). Hung from the ceiling in the kitchen or storeroom, the basket could also be used for storing other foodstuffs. The three strips that make up the strong handle are secured with wild "tzuzura" vine.
Mr. Hiroshima learned this shape during his apprenticeship in 1930-32 with Kudo Masanori; this lidded container takes two days to complete. The cost in 1932 was 1 yen 20 sen (100 sen equal 1 yen); by 1942, Mr. Hiroshima was charging 5 yen; in 1987, he charged 10,000 yen.
- Published References
- Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. p. 100.
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