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T HE H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I L IN E A G E : 15 0 Y E A R S O F A R T I S T R Y


Sensei is the honorific the Japanese use in addressing teachers or masters.The word shows respect for the position and achievements of the individual, and can also express affection. I have now known Hayakawa - sensei and his gracious and charming wife, Machiko, for nearly fifteen years. When I think back on my first visit to the Hayakawa household, I feel a little embarrassed about how little I knew about bamboo art and the kinds of questions I asked of him. From our visit, he made me feel welcomed and supported in my desire to deepen my understanding of bamboo art and its history. I knew about the ground breaking artistic achievements of his ancestors starting in the Edo period with Hayakawa Shokosai I, but did not know his great grandfather was of a Samurai lineage. Hayakawa - sensei’s bearing possesses a pride of this ancestry, and reflected in his determination to carry on his family’s artistic traditions and techniques. What makes him a great artist is the creative ability to draw upon this and make artwork that is uniquely his own artistic expression. Coupled with this is a generous spirit, and a great sense of humor. I was given the opportunity on my first visit to actually hold and examine Hayakawa - sensei’s artwork and it was thrilling. I could see and feel the continuity of the Shokosai artistic lineage having studied the work of the prior generations in Lloyd Cotsen’s Japanese bamboo art collection. On the next visit, he took me up to his tiny studio and began to show me the techniques inherited from his ancestors.

H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I V Natural Bamboo Flower Basket, Detail, see page 24 Cover: Floating Flower Pattern: A Set of Five Tea Ceremony Trays, 1985, each tray 7 1/4 x 21/2 inches


Hayakawa - sensei patiently talked about bamboo as a material and what it meant to him. I remember vividly, his saying, “when I was young I was so enamored of my ability to bend bamboo to my will and make a vessel, but it had no beauty or life.” He went on further to say “I began to make art when I gave bamboo its voice in what I was doing.” This was the beginning of my understanding of how an aspiring artist must learn to be sensitive to the nature of each culm of bamboo. Eating and drinking together quickly became a part of my visits. The Hayakawa lineage has a tradition of entertaining guests, and taking pleasure in time spent together. We came to an agreement of alternating going to each other’s favorite restaurants and clubs, and spending hours talking about life in general, the world of Japanese bamboo art, and telling jokes. My knowledge and appreciation of the art form blossomed under his tutelage. In 1999 Mr. Cotsen decided to sponsor a bamboo prize to recognize younger artists, which generated considerable controversy in the Japan Traditional Craft Arts Association and with some governmental people. When I explained what Mr. Cotsen wanted to do by sponsoring the prize, Hayakawa -sensei immediately lent his full support and agreed to be present at the prize ceremony in Tokyo. This was crucial in making many younger artists in the traditional craft art world feel more comfortable submitting their artwork. The event became a great success drawing together artists from various parts of the Japanese bamboo art world. Relationships were formed that endure still today. Hayakawa -sensei became a Living National Treasure of Japan in 2003. This was for him as much an important acknowledgement of his ancestors’ pivotal role in bamboo art that started in1845, as a recognition of his greatness as an artist. This honor has far more responsibility associated with it than most Westerners understand. He received all the journalists and their endlessly similar questions with sincere answers and good humor. The position also has many leadership duties. One of the downsides of all this was it took time away from his art making. Still,


he was able the following year to have a solo show at TAI Gallery. On the same trip he gave a superb lecture at the Denver Art Museum to a large and very enthusiastic audience. At dinner that evening, he remarked to me how important it was for him to have received the honor of being named a Living National Treasure. Hayakawa - sensei added it meant just as much to him how enthusiastically his artwork was received in the United States, because he knew people loved and appreciated what he created not because of his title or the lineage from which he came. Americans saw the beauty and power of his artistic creations. To be involved in the world of Japanese bamboo art is the best second career I could ever have imagined. One of the greatest and most precious gifts of this involvement is having Hayakawa - sensei as a teacher and a friend.



Square Bottom Flower Basket, 1979, 13 x 7 inches


There is a family lineage of bamboo artists in Japan given the special appellation of “Ransho” or Head Master of Basket Art. It is a term that people have forgotten. It means “the master of all masters.” It is only the family lineage of Hayakawa Shokosai that has been given this recognition. For over 150 years, succeeding generations of Hayakawa Shokosai have played pivotal roles in the development of modern Japanese bamboo art. They are true visionaries of bamboo art. Here is why.



Jar -Shaped Flower Basket, 1895, 9 1/2 x 16 inches

HAYAK AWA SHOKOSAI I ■ Hayakawa Shokosai I is regarded as the pioneer and founder of modern bamboo art in Japan. He was born in 1815 and given the name, “Togoro”. He was born into the Hayakawa samurai family who served the small local clan of Sabae in Echizen Province that is in today’s Fukui Prefecture, northeast of Kyoto. Around the age of eighteen, he abandoned his service to the local lord and left the clan of Sabae. Although there is no record of what prompted him, he was said to have traveled through various provinces acquiring the knowledge and techniques necessary to become a professional basket maker. He also lived in Kyoto to further hone his bamboo dyeing skills. Around the age of thirty he moved to Osaka, the center of the Sencha Tea Ceremony. In reaction to the rigid formality of the Wabi-Cha (powdered tea) “Way of Tea” ceremony developed by Sen no Rikyu (1522–1591), the former Zen Buddhist monk Basaio brought a freer and looser spirit to the ritual, and the Sencha tea ceremony was born. Its founding philosophy was greatly influenced by the ideas of the Chinese literati free thinkers that gained popularity during the midEdo Period. Although Baisao Koyugai (1675 –1763) is considered a pioneer of the Sencha tea ceremony tradition, it was Kagetsuan Kakuo, a wealthy merchant, who popularized Sencha or whole leaf tea (rather than the powdered form) in Osaka, which became the center of this practice.1 Because the Sencha movement idealized Chinese free thinkers, the practitioners of Sencha also sought Chinese articles and utensils for their Sencha rituals. Since the supply of significant Chinese articles and utensils was limited, to satisfy the increasingly larger numbers of Sencha practitioners, there was a demand in Osaka for fine replicas of Chinese bamboo art, especially imported flower baskets. It became a common practice in ambiguity for both the practitioners and the sellers to create an illusion of having important Chinese flower baskets; and, the sellers offered locally made baskets with no sign of origin. Because the basket makers of the time were unable


Raft Pattern Flower Basket, 1883, 6 x 6 1/2 x 12 inches


to express their originality and identity, they developed their technical excellence and pride in making the finest replicas of important baskets. Both the originals and the replicas were commonly called Karamono, or objects in the spirit of the Tang Dynasty, regardless of their origin and time of creation.2 After settling in Osaka, Togoro gave himself the artist name of Shokosai and started inscribing it on every basket he created. It is not known exactly when he started this practice, but the earliest signed piece in existence dates to 1856. The word “Shoko” means reverence for old days, and “sai” means studio. Today, no one knows for sure what old ideals he had in mind when he named himself. Shokosai proclaimed loud and clear his identity as an individual artist by inscribing his name “Shokosai made this.” On many occasions, he also inscribed “Shokosai of the Great Nation of Japan made this” proclaiming pride of place in his art’s origin. This was a significant game-changing event that marks the birth of modern Japanese bamboo art. 3 The historic significance of Shokosai I is not simply because he was the first to sign his work. Medieval Japanese feudal lords encouraged, protected, and supported fine handicrafts of talented craftsmen in their clans. These fine wares were used as special gifts for the Shoguns during the Muromachi and Edo Periods. Someday, examples of signatures of earlier baskets with makers’ signatures may be found that precede Shokosai I, yet such findings would not and should not discredit Shokosai I’s vision and contribution to the field. It was Shokosai I’s courageousness as an independent basket artist who worked outside the special protection of a feudal lord that sets him apart. In fact, his signature was a great obstacle in selling his work, and his family of eleven children suffered in poverty because of it. With his mastery of basket art, it would have been an easy task for him to make replicas of even the most intricate works of imported flower baskets and he could have made a comfortable living. Yet, Shokosai chose the hard path.


Slowly, his efforts started to pay off. He was gradually accepted and as he gained clients, other well-known basket masters of the time such as Wada Waichisai and artists of his lineage and Yamamoto Chikuryusai and artists of his lineage, followed Shokosai’s vision. A crucial point came in 1877 when the Japanese Government began holding annual national exhibitions for all of the Japanese arts in Tokyo. Shokosai submitted a small but intricate tea ceremony box to the first national exhibition and won the Phoenix Medal. The Empress Shoken was so moved by his tea ceremony box, she took it to the Palace directly from the exhibition. This was said to be the first incidence of modern Imperial patronage for craft art and made Shokosai’s name known throughout Japan. It assured his undisputed position as a leader in his art form. In 1984, sixty of Shokosai’s works were rediscovered at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, Germany, where they had been stored since they were collected by the founding director of the museum between the years 1885 and 1898. Considered as a lost collection, it is the largest and most important collection of this singular artist. After carefully studying these baskets, I discovered not only Shokosai’s famous color pallet of warm-brown plum extraction – fresh after well over 100 years – in contrast to the almost black color of Karamono and Karamono-style baskets, but also his original sense of form and innovative ideas. Even though the majority of Shokosai’s creations were limited to Sencha related tea articles, he also made fashionable items such as his famous rattan hat for the popular Kabuki actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX (1868 –1912 ), who added it as a permanent prop to his repertoire. Shokosai was a man of rigor when it came to his art making, but he also had a flexible and supple mind for his creations. Toward the end of his life, he began experimenting beyond the Sencha sensibility. One example of this is a large basket ( see page 6) which shows the artist’s definite shift from the Karamono based formal and rigid look to more relaxed organic forms.


HAYAK AWA SHOKOSAI II ■ At first, both Shokosai and his wife had no intention of training any successors. “It is a hard path to be acknowledged as a master,” said Shokosai I: “There is no successful master after a master,” said his wife. However, Hayakawa Shokosai’s supporters, which included the Minister of the Interior in the Matsukata Cabinet and other influential patrons, finally convinced him to train a successor. Shokosai I and his wife had seven sons and four daughters. The oldest two sons, Tojiro and Tozaburo, died young, so Shokosai started to train his third son Takejiro, fourth son Matsunoo, and fifth son Eizaburo. There is no remaining record as to when Shokosai started their training, but one indication is that Eizaburo won the Phoenix Crest Medal at the Paris International Exposition in 1878 when he was only fourteen years of age. This rare early achievement of the artist’s fifth son suggests their apprenticeship must have started around 1870 at the latest. After Shokosai’s death in 1897, Takejiro, being the oldest among three, assumed his father’s artist name and became Shokosai II. He was thirty - seven years old. It is said that Shokosai II was prone to illness, and his time being Shokosai II lasted only eight short years. To date, only four examples of his work are known to exist, and three out of the four works are in the style of Shokosai I. One example is a “Natakago” or hatchet sheath shaped hanging flower basket. The fourth is of particular interest since the style is generally considered to be in the Wabi - cha tea ceremony tradition, indicating that towards the end of his career, Shokosai II started to create works not only for Sencha devotees but also for the Wabi cha practitioners. Perhaps Shokosai II intended to continue his father’s trend of expanding the family’s client base.


When Shokosai II died in 1905 he did not have an heir to succeed him, and it is unclear how the selection was made to continue the Shokosai lineage. Matsunoo, the fourth son, who had also studied bamboo art with their father, went to Tokyo with his youngest brother Seijiro, the seventh son. Matsunoo developed his love for flower arrangement there and later founded his own Ikebana school inspired by the Chinese literati way, called Nanso Heika and took the artist name Hayakawa Shuu I. His younger brother Kumajiro, the sixth son, later succeeded him in this lineage of flower arrangement and became Hayakawa Shuu II. Seijiro, who originally went to Tokyo with Matsunoo, branched off from his brother and founded his own school of Ikebana flower arranging named Seifu Heika in 1913 and took the artist name Hayakawa Shodo I. It was the award-winning Eizaburo, the fifth and remaining son of Shokosai I who saved the continuity of the lineage.


HAYAKAWA SHOKOSAI III ■ Regardless of his early international success in Paris, Eizaburo did not become Shokosai II when his father died. While his older brother Takejiro was creating works as Shokosai II at the family’s base in Osaka, Eizaburo had moved to Tokyo in 1897 and settled there to create his own work as an independent artist using the name Shosai. The following episode is recorded from that time: A dealer wishing to purchase one of Eizaburo’s basket works asked the price. Eizaburo quoted 15 yen for his basket. The dealer made a counter offer of 10 yen. However, Eizaburo was a confident man and did not give in. The dealer finally told the artist he would buy it at 15 yen if Eizaburo would remove his signature from the basket. Eizaburo glanced at the dealer, took his basket and walked away. And so, Eizaburo is known to have struggled financially during his time in Tokyo, just as his father had during the early years of his career. After Shokosai II’s unexpected, early death in 1905, Eizaburo returned to Osaka and assumed the family artist name becoming Shokosai III. While his father firmly established the family’s position as a leader among the world of Sencha basket artists, Shokosai III expanded the family’s territory to a much bigger art world. An artist who not only excelled in his basket art, he was also talented in calligraphy, Japanese - style painting, as well as being a musician skilled in playing the bamboo flute at the same level as a professional. He also established himself as a sharp published critic of other Japanese art forms including Japanese - style paintings and poems, both of which were ranked much higher than bamboo art. Unlike his predecessor, Shokosai III seldom made Sencha related tea articles. His focus was creating a truly unique style of new basket art. The most notable is the Mizore - ami style (a randomly interlaced style of plaiting called “sleet style” by the family, suggesting intermittent rain drops, and creating unique organic compositions also called “breaking of ice”).4 His development of this new style not only challenged the foundation of all basketry work

H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I I I I Untitled Flower Basket, 1905, 11 x 10 x 21 inches


that had been built on regularity and patterns, it also challenged the Karamono style, the most highly esteemed of bamboo basketry styles. While Karamono - style baskets are the ultimate examples of elaborate patterns and fineness in the extreme, Shokosai III’s Mizore - ami baskets emphasize his very singular emphasis on characteristics unique to the material of bamboo. His keen sensitivity in catching the ethos of each piece of bamboo and then showing the beauty of his selected bamboo pieces to express his great sense of composition was the biggest game changer in bamboo art. Shokosai III firmly established that new bamboo art originates in the vision and ideas of an individual artist. This precedence is important because it had been the general consensus that the beginning of individualism in craft arts occurred in the field of pottery during the early-1920s with such artists as Tomimoto Kenkichi and Bernard Leach. Shokosai III is clearly ahead of these counterparts. After Shokosai III, one bamboo artist who pursued personal creative expression was Iizuka Rokansai, whose inspiration was the “ideal beauty” he found in objects from the Shosoin Treasure House in Nara. Where did Shokosai III find ideal beauty? There are no known outside sources of inspiration that can be identified in Shokosai III’s creation of the new bamboo art. Shokosai III set a new standard for all the major bamboo artists who came after him, and forever after his Mizore - ami style became a necessary style to master in every major bamboo artist’s repertoire. Shokosai III was an originator of other styles that would become trademarks for later generations of bamboo artists. For example, his use of naturally bent bamboo handles precedes that of others, and he even entertained the idea of “Readymades,” occasionally using ordinary mass - produced, utilitarian baskets to which he added his magic touch to make a new, extraordinary creation. In one H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I I I I Natural Color Bamboo with Kazura Vine Handle, 1918, 11 x 10 x 13 1/2 inches


recorded instance, Shokosai III added a handle to a utilitarian basket for use in a Sencha tea ceremony and made a special wooden box for the piece. Then he collaborated with Sakata Shoken, a well-known Japanese Nanga school painter and Sencha tea master, to decorate the box with his and Sakata’s paintings and signatures. Being the most influential bamboo artist in the history of this art form, Shokosai III opened up many, many possibilities for those who came after him. The life of the great artist ended on July 2,1922 after a short 16-year career of being Shokosai III.


HAYAKAWA SHOKOSAI I V ■ “I won’t show you how to make a basket if you misbehave like that!” Shokosai III scolded his oldest son Chujiro, who had been told since his youth that he would be the successor in his family lineage. Just like his father, Chujiro loved music and learned to play the violin. Shokosai III had four sons, and the second oldest son Hirozo also became interested in bamboo art and assumed his father’s early artist name to become Shosai II. The third son did not pursue an artistic career and the youngest son Shinpei became a legendary, leading figure in music and introduced and popularized the Tango in Japan. Chujiro started his training under his father in his mid - teen years. Shokosai III would give him assignments and then evaluate his work. He would then destroy it by putting it into a fire with other scrap bamboo to heat bath water for the family. As his training advanced, Chujiro started making fairly good baskets, but Shokosai III still destroyed every single one of them. It was Shokosai III’s philosophy that one must aim as high as one could possibly reach. If his son was satisfied with what he made, there would be no room for further improvement. Chujiro’s training ended suddenly after six years, due to Shokosai III’s early death. At the age of twenty - one, he had only learned the basics of bamboo baskets when he succeeded his father to become Shokosai I V. At this time he only knew three signature styles of Shokosai I – the Abacus Bead, the Kofukuji Peony Basket, and the Armor Plaited Basket, along with other simple plaiting techniques. He was at a loss in the beginning on how to successfully carry forward his family legacy. With time Shokosai I V realized that even the most complex patterns were applications of the few basic patterns he had already learned. Step - by - step, Shokosai I V taught himself and expanded his repertoire. Just as his life stabilized, war broke out and disrupted not only his professional career



Kofukuji Peony Basket, 1960s to 1975, 91/2 x 161/2 inches

as an artist, but bombing forced he and his family to relocate twice. During the war, the family lost almost everything including family records. After the war was over, Shokosai IV decided to settle in Kyoto where the materials used by generations of Shokosais were produced. But, Shokosai IV’s professional career would never be smooth sailing. The family’s trademark dyeing technique was at risk when no dye shop in Kyoto carried their major ingredient of plum tannin any longer.5 Shokosai IV had to spend considerable time researching, experimenting, and reinventing how to make his own extraction of bitter juice from the plum tree in order to carry on the important legacy of the Shokosai lineage. Shokosai I V’s career coincided with the heyday of public art competitions in Japan. Bamboo artists Yamamoto Chikuryusai I and II, Tanabe Chikuunsai I, Iizuka Rokansai and other major talents competed at the Teiten, the Imperial Japan Art Exhibition, and in later versions the Bunten and Nitten incarnations of Japan Fine Arts Exhibitions. Shokosai IV, however, had his own philosophy regarding submissions to public exhibitions, and unlike his predecessor made a conscious decision not to show his work at such venues. In spite of his absence from the public competitions, Shokosai IV was still deeply respected by his peers. Hayashi Shogetsusai, himself an acclaimed bamboo artist who competed at Nitten, wrote in a 1963 publication that Shokosai IV was the best traditional bamboo artist. Shokosai I V primarily made baskets for devotees of both the Wabi-Cha and Sencha tea ceremony traditions. While early in his career Shokosai I V made baskets referential to Shokosai I and III’s traditions, he gradually moved onto his own style of square-bottom, round-rim baskets. His work is precise with a classic yet rhythmic feeling. Shokosai IV’s major role was protector and preserver of the Shokosai legacy and shepherding the traditions safely along to the present day.

H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I I V Flower Basket with Handle, 1924, 9 1/2 x 8 x 22 inches



Untitled Flower Basket, Early Showa Period, 9 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches




Bundo-Shaped Flower Basket, 1982, 13 x 11 inches

H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I V ■ Approaching the time of high school graduation, Shokosai IV’s son Shuhei thought deeply about whether or not he should start training to be a professional bamboo artist. He was very tall and strongly built for a Japanese man of his generation and not particularly interested in the basket work for which his family was known. He was far more interested in playing baseball, Sumo wrestling and other sports. Shuhei finally made his decision to be trained by his father, Shokosai IV, and says “I did not want to see the family lineage end with my father’s generation.” Shuhei felt it was his destiny. His training started with his new name of Shoha and from that time forward his father was no longer a father. Shokosai IV told his new student the following: “Learn what each generation of Shokosai taught and did to fulfill his own responsibility in being a Shokosai and how he lived as a Shokosai.” Shoha’s first hands on training was peeling the skin of bamboo with a small well-sharpened knife, the most important foundation for the Shokosai way of creating artwork. Day after day he continued for nearly three years, until his master said “next step.” Gradually clearing each step, he started to learn basket work. Shokosai IV gave a model basket to his trainee and told him to learn from it, saying “If you cannot figure it out with your eyes, you can never figure it out with your ears” (meaning he had to figure it out on his own without verbal instruction). Shoha disassembled it and in reverse order learned the process of how the model basket was made. As the years passed and he was able to make his own baskets, Shokosai IV continued to destroy every basket Shoha made, just as Shokosai IV’s own father/master did during his training.“If you sell your work during your training, people will assume it is your best work, and you would think you are good enough and become negligent in your own growth as an artist,” said Shokosai IV to his trainee. It was the kind of training Shokosai I V knew would work to get the best out of his son. H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I V Natural Bamboo Flower Basket, Late 1960s to Early 1970s, 8 1/2 x 9 x 9 inches


In order to end his training, Shoha had to pass a final exam under Shokosai IV’s supervision. The assignment was to successfully create three signature styles passed on by the generations of the Shokosai lineage: the Abacus Bead, the Kofukuji Peony Basket, and the Armor Plaiting Basket. After he successfully completed the assignment, Shoha started his professional career and was recognized by his father/master as official heir to the Shokosai lineage. In 1965 following 14 years of training, Shoha was allowed to show his art to the public for the first time in his own exhibition with the artist name of Shoko. The name Shoko had been given to him in 1963 by his marriage go-between Kon Toko, the famous novelist. The result? The show was sold out. In 1975 Shokosai IV died after a long professional career. Endorsed and strongly encouraged by Sakata Shuken, an authority and leading Chinese literati-style artist and second - generation headmaster of the Shoken Sencha School, Shoko succeeded his father and became Shokosai V in 1977. In July 2003 he was designated an “Important Intangible Cultural Asset,” commonly known as a Living National Treasure of bamboo art. Shokosai V is particularly known for his creative and innovative use of the parallel construction technique and creating sophisticated vessels with a modern feeling. He developed this style of his own from the family’s signature armor plaiting technique. Shokosai V often tapers and curves each strip of bamboo with his famous knife work and carefully aligns the strips to create a linear beauty in his work. He sometimes uses his gorgeous rattan knotting to tie parallel elements together to express a formal look. Occasionally, he makes a series of small holes in the center of each strip stitching long and very fine rattan threads in and out of each hole to tie the elements together without knotting.This latter technique is his own invention and gives a deceivingly simple, clean, sharp, and modern look to his work.


In 2006 and 2007 Shokosai V gave a series of his Living National Treasure workshops to seven professional bamboo artists including Fujitsuka Shosei, Buseki Suiko, Kibe Seiho, Kawano Shoko, Isohi Setsuko, Tanabe Shochiku, and Oki Toshie. Shokosai V carefully selected these artists himself from different localities as well as from different age groups. For the first time, the participants learned all the highly guarded secret techniques and cumulative knowledge that the Shokosai lineage passed on from one generation to the next only through one chosen heir. Last, but certainly not least, Shokosai V has been the strongest advocate of TAI Gallery’s effort in promoting bamboo art in the West. There was a time when leaders of traditional bamboo art were quite concerned that Japan’s bamboo art might become “Westernized” by the influence of Western tastes and influence. It was Shokosai V who stood up against the authorities and protected and supported the gallery’s efforts. He did this when he had not yet attained the status of Living National Treasure and it was a very risky move on his part. Both Shokosai V’s decision to unveil all the secret techniques, recipes, and – most importantly – the lineage philosophies to future generations, along with his vision of sustaining this art’s future by creating a new market, clearly demonstrates why this family is regarded as “Ransho” – the master of all masters. They are true visionaries of bamboo art.


N O T ES 1. The popularity of Sencha began in the late 1700s and lasted until the early 1900s. Chinese literati philosophy spread into the tea world through Baisao who peddled simmered tea in Kyoto after he denounced the Zen priesthood. Although Baisao did not preach as a Zen master, his clientele consisted of influential philosophers, artists and poets of the time. Through his salon - like gatherings, which were considered important both religiously and artistically, the Sencha tea ceremony was born. Chinese literati - style flower arrangement and the collection of Karamono tea utensils became very popular among influential politicians, wealthy business people, and later the general populace in the Meiji Period (1868 –1912). 2. The original Karamono basket was brought by international trade mostly from China as well as other Southeast Asian countries. 3. The practice of signing one’s work in paintings and calligraphy in Japan goes back to the Muromachi Period (1333–1556 ); the same practice had started among artistic crafts at various times during the Edo Period (1603 –1868). 4. The so - called “Ara - ami,”coarse plaiting with wider strips of bamboo, existed in utilitarian baskets before Shokosai III’s time. Sen no Rikyu adapted such baskets into his aesthetic of “Wabi.” These baskets were, however, coarsely plaited on the preset pattern such as square plaiting with spaces in between. They were not based on irregular or random patterns as were Shokosai III’s “Mizore - ami.” What Shokosai III achieved was similar to the ideas in the West of the Abstract Expressionism and Art Informel. 5. Shokosai’s special dye technique involved making a dye bath with the bitter juice of plum extract and alder bark which was brought to a boil in which a basket was constantly turned for three sessions of three to four hours per session.This gave baskets their trademark satin finish. Outside of the Shokosai tradition, basket artists use Urushi, a natural lacquer extracted from the Urushi tree, to give the surface of a basket a shiny coating. Urushi also protects the surface of the bamboo and adds extra structural support to a basket.

H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I V The Fifth Note: A Flower Basket with Half-Round Handles Mid -1970s to Early 1980s, 9 1/2 x 15 inches


H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I V Octagonal Plaiting Flower Basket with Handle, Mid -1970s to Early 1980s, 10 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 10 1/4 inches (above) Oblique Pattern Jar-Shaped Flower Basket, 1991, 8 x 16 inches (right)


H AYA K AWA SH O K O S A I V Hexagonal-Shaped Flower Basket, 1965, 7 1/8 x 111/8 inches


H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I V Spiral Pattern Flower Basket, 1971, 13 1/4 x 9 inches (below ) Flower Basket with Open Spaces, 1979, 6 1/4 x 12 1/4 inches (right)





Shooting Star 2011, 8 x 7 1/2 x 18 1/4 inches


 BUS E K I SUIKO Sign of Rain 2008, 5 x 14 inches



Echo of Water


2009, 7 1/2 x 6 x13 inches

2010, 12 1/2 x 10 x 15 1/2 inches

 ISO HI S E T SUKO Ocean Breeze 2009, 18 1/2 x 11 x 3 1/2 inches

K AW A N O S H O K O Setting Sun 2005, 14 x 16 1/2 inches

 F UJI T SUK A S H O S EI Fuji 2010, 17 x 7 1/2 x 6 inches


T H E H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I L I N E A G E IN BA MBOO ART H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I I Given name Togoro, 1815 –1897 H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I I I Given name Takejiro, 3rd son of Shokosai I, 1860 –1905 H AYA K AWA SHUU I Given name Matsunoo, 4th son of Shokosai I H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I III Given name Eizaburo, 5th son of Shokosai I, 1864 –1922 H AYA K AWA SHUU II Given name Kumajiro, 6th son of Shokosai I H AYA K AWA S H O D O I Given name Seijiro, 7th son of Shokosai I H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I IV Given name Chujiro, 1st son of Shokosai III, 1902 –1975 H AYA K AWA S H O S A I I I Given name Hirozo, 2nd son of Shokosai III H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I V Given name Shohei, 1st son of Shokosai IV, born 1932


Fish Scale Pattern Flower Basket with Handle, 1974, 12 x 12 x 16 3/4 inches

Back Cover: H AYA K AWA S H O K O S A I I

Tea Caddy Style Basket, Early Meiji Period, 8 x 5 1/2 x 5 inches

TA I G A L L E R Y 1601 B Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, NM 87501 505.984.1387 •

Hayakawa Lineage  

There is an almost forgotten term in Japan: “Ransho”. It means “the master of all masters.” Hayakawa Shokosai I was given that recognition...

Hayakawa Lineage  

There is an almost forgotten term in Japan: “Ransho”. It means “the master of all masters.” Hayakawa Shokosai I was given that recognition...