Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

Exhibitions/ Art Object

初代早川尚古斎造 茶籃(提藍)
Basket for Transporting Sencha Tea-Ceremony Utensils (Chakago or Teiran)

Hayakawa Shōkosai I (Japanese, 1815–1897)
Meiji period (1868–1912)
ca. 1877–80s
Rattan and brocaded silk
H. 12 3/16 in. (31 cm); W. 12 5/8 in. (32 cm); D. 8 5/16 in. (21.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Promised Gift of Diane and Arthur Abbey
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 224
Shōkosai is believed to be the first master craftsman of baskets to sign his compositions, a custom probably inspired by Western artists amid the Meiji-period modernization of the Japanese decorative arts. The signature would have also indicated that his Chinese-inspired karamono works were actually made by a Japanese master. Shōkosai concentrated for the most part on making tea-ceremony utensils (primarily using rattan), reflecting the needs of the literati and others associated with the period’s thriving sencha tea culture. He came to prominence in 1877 when one of his sencha works—a lidded basket with a handle, intended to carry a tea set to an outdoor event—received the Phoenix Prize at the first Domestic Industrial Exposition held in Tokyo.
Signature: Incised on reverse: Shōkosai Kore wo Tsukuru (Made by Shōkosai)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Japanese Bamboo Art: The Abbey Collection," June 13, 2017–February 4, 2018.