Suruga Bamboo Basketry
"Delicate and Graceful Japanese Bamboo Artwork"
Suruga Bamboo Basketry is a traditional bamboo craft with a history of over 400 years, made in the area around Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture. It was designated a national traditional craft in 1976.
A single craftsman uses their skills to assemble the bamboo strips one by one. The moist, smooth, and delicate curves create a calm and soft moment as a favorite daily tool and an interior decoration.
History of Suruga Bamboo Basketry
Suruga bamboo basketry (called Suruga Take Sensuji Zaiku in Japanese) is produced in the city of Shizuoka, Shizuoka prefecture. High-quality bamboo has grown wild in the basin of the upper reaches of the Abe River in Shizuoka since ancient times. According to records, a woven bamboo pillow was made in the early Edo period (1603-1868), and was used in the Edo Castle.
It is said that the origin of Suruga Bamboo Basketry, which is still practiced today, began when a samurai from the Okazaki domain, who was on a journey, taught the delicate bamboo weaving technique using a bamboo strip to the craftsmen. Using this technique, they began to make confectionery containers and insect baskets, which were sold to travelers on their way up and down the Tokaido Highway as handicrafts.
Photo by Courtesy of Shizuoka Bamboo-craft Corporative Association
Charm of Suruga Bamboo Basketry
Suruga Bamboo Basketry is characterized by the fact that it uses a numbers of fine bamboo strips, as indicated by the name Sensuji (meaning one thousand lines). Unlike other Japanese bamboo crafts, Suruga Bamboo Basketry uses thin, round bamboo strips. It is said that the reason for taking the time and effort to make and use rounded bamboo strips one by one is out of concern for not damaging the feathers of the birds and insect cages that are one of their signature products.
Bamboo basketry look delicate at first glance, but craftsmen go through many processes to take advantage of the strength and flexibility characteristics of bamboo, making it very durable and long-lasting. The handiwork of craftsmen who carry on the tradition breathes new life into the bamboo, which is then passed on to the next generation by the user. The delicate and graceful design, along with the natural texture of the bamboo as it turns into an amber color, will ensure long-lasting use with love and affection.