Bamboo and bronze ikebana basket

Japan, Showa period, 1960’s or 1970’s

Height: 10 inches, 25.5 cm
Width: 8 inches, 20 cm

An ikebana basket, composed of three strands of bamboo, ingeniously braided around a metal cylindrical core with a triangular base and supported on three splayed legs.  The three strands of bamboo are split, and joined together with bamboo fittings.


Although this interesting and unusual ikebana basket is unsigned, the work is very reminiscent of that of the artist Baba Shodo (1925 – 1996), particularly the way of tying together the strands of split bamboo and also the finishing of the bamboo into sharp points. Shodo exhibited a bamboo hanging basket named Fu (float) at the fifth (new) Nitten exhibition in 1973, that so closely resembles the work of the Russian sculptor Naum Gabo (1890 – 1977) that it is very likely that Shodo was familiar with Gabo’s work. Fu (float) by Baba Shodo is now in the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo.[1]

  1. The work is mentioned but not illustrated on the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo website: