Sakaguchi Sounsai b.1899-d.1967 was an extremely influential basket maker in the Taisho Period and early Showa Period. Born near Osaka, Sounsai was the son of a sumo wrestler. At the age of 15 he moved to Sakai, Osaka to apprentice under Tanabe Chikuunsai I. At the age of 24 he became an independent artist. In 1929 he became one of the first bamboo artists admitted into the Teiten or Imperial Art Exhibitions. His work won several awards at subsequent exhibitions and he was honored by the patronage of the Showa emperor.
For other pieces by Sounsai in the collection of Lloyd Cotsen, c.f. Japanese Bamboo Baskets: Masterworks of Form & Texture, numbers 149 and 153.
Sounsai weaves with smoked bamboo with exceptionally rich color. An abstracted irregular version of lozenge plaiting forms the body of the basket, with butterfly knots and insect stiches ornamenting. The shape is quite rare and the top is held by a length of bamboo with an intricate top ball weave. 45cm long; 27cm wide and 16cm tall. Ask for