Japanese Version

Bamboo Artist

Artist Torii Ippo was born in 1930 in Nishio City, Aichi Prefecture and began his career in bamboo arts in 1951 at the age of twenty-one, after his father’s death. There was no choice for him, since the family business was the only means of support for his family. He taught himself making copies of his father’s baskets.


CRASH OF WAVES, 1996   19" × 13" × 25"(45×33×64 cm)


In 1957 he won the Tokyo Governor’s Award at the Japan Flower and Tea Ware Craft Arts Exhibition. He was admitted to the Japan Modern Craft Arts Exhibition for the first time in 1980, and since then has been admitted eight times. In 1981 he was admitted to Nitten and since then has been admitted seventeen times. He was honored with the Chunichi Newspaper Award at the Japan Modern Craft Arts Exhibition in 1982. In 1987 he became an official member of the Japan Modern Craft Arts Association and won a Members Award that year and again in 1991. In 1992 his work was selected for an exhibition of Japanese modern craft arts that traveled to Germany. Since 1993 he has been a judge of numerous exhibitions, including the Japan Modern Craft Arts Exhibition as well as for regional competitions.



DOUBLE WAVES, 1990  33" × 19" × 16 1/2"  (84×48×42 cm)


A story he tells: “ I found a catalogue when I was rearranging my bookshelves the other day,−an exhibition catalogue of treasures housed in Nara’s Shosoin Temples. It was the second public exhibition after the war of these national treasures, displayed at Tokyo National Museum in 1959. I had gone to Tokyo that year to visit some business associates and by chance I went to see the exhibition. At the time, I was a novice to this craft and was wondering if I should continue. I remember how that day my eyes stopped at a bamboo basket that was said to have been used as a flower basket for the memorial service of Emperor Seimu in 757 A.D. The basket was rather flat−shaped and it had remained in perfect condition for over 1200 years. Its power instantly charmed me. I recalled that moment over forty years ago as if it were yesterday. It determined my career as a bamboo artist.”