Gourd-Shaped Basket


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 199

The bamboo basket was made to hold a small flower arrangement. Not only do flowers and plants indicate the changes of the seasons, so much admired in Japanese culture, but they are also associated with festivities, and flower arrangements are integral to tea gatherings. The shape of this flower basket has numerous associations—gourds are an auspicious symbol of fertility and commercial success, appear in Daoist legends, and were used to hold water and sake.

Gourd-Shaped Basket, Bamboo, rattan, Japan

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