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Rokansai

Rokansai (1890-1958), also using the name of Yuseki F, was born Yanosuke V as the sixth son of Hosai I.
Rokansai in his workroom. In the tokonoma alcove behind him,
the painting is "Mt. Fuji" by Taikan Yokoyama.

He started to study under his father when he was 12 years old, and developed his talent as a bamboo craftsman.

By the time he was 20 years old, because of Rokansai's amazing talent, he was producing bamboo works under the name of his elder brother, Hosai II.

Rokansai was a strong-spirited person and as a teenager, he desired to become a painter, going to school to learn painting, however, his skills working with bamboo were too good to ignore and he was moved to start bamboo craft in earnest. As part of his education as an artist, he studied a variety of traditional Japanese art forms such as calligraphy, Sinology, haiku, and poetry. Much of his personal style, and the wide variations in body of work are based on his wide-ranging studies.

As an artist, Rokansai adopted the concept of three states of
Shin (^), Gyou (s), and Sou () into his works, and he gave his pieces elegant titles showing natural phenomena.

Rokansai introduced and developed important techniques, such as embroidered plaiting
Sashiami h, bundled plaiting Tabaneami , smashed bamboo Tsubushi, Noshitake ̂|, Hirachiku (|) and the use of Shira sabi take K|.

In 1922, his flower basket titled gBuddhist Altar Zushi ~qh received the Silver Prize in the Peace Memorial Tokyo Exposition. Thereafter, he received numerous awards for his work. He raised bamboo craft art from having a reputation as the lowest among crafts to being recognized as top drawer category of Japanese craft art.

In 1933, architect Bruno Taut visited Rokansai when he was in Japan and afterwards, Rokansai and Taut kept in touch for several years.

Bruno Taut admired Rokansai saying, gIn Japan, there is Tanabe Chikuunsai in the west, and Iizuka Rokansai in the Easth and he proclaimed Rokansai's works as 'modern.'

Rokansai remained in contact with a wide variety of other well-known artists such as Matsuda Gonroku (cZ) in lacquer art, and Itaya Hazan (’JgR) who specialized in ceramic arts, and other calligraphers. Rokansai distinguished himself in a wide variety of the intellectual artistic pursuits such as calligraphy, drawings and painting, and haiku, and a body of that work remains.


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