Born in Beppu, 1941, a time and place where bamboo craftsmen, including the artist’s father, were working towards the highest level of bamboo mastery, Yufu Masataka was early poised to become a basketry artisan of the loftiest order. From his early youth, Mastaka studied in his father’s workshop, adopting from him the striking yatara style, which was to eventually become his signature. The complex plaiting on the exquisite sculptural ikebana piece above, thick slats of bamboo woven together with bundled strips entwined with vines and bamboo ropes, is a masterwork of yatara. You can learn more about this very rare piece, which includes its otoshi and has never been restored, here.
Influenced by “such powerful images as Buddhist kings, the ocean, and waterfalls,” Yufu Masataka is a flower arranger himself and understands the delicate relationship between nature and art, flowers and the spectacular containers he sometimes builds for them (Japan Traditional Craft Center, kougeihin.jp). The piece above is woven Wagumi-style with split segments of bamboo and striated and bundled bamboo stalks. Roped bamboo are intregrated along the slender handle. Flying Cranes Antiques Ltd. Gallery can be reached here for further details on this piece.