Until American collectors discovered his work, Hatakeyama supported himself by making bamboo souvenirs for tourists. For a time he ran a successful business, with over a dozen employees, crafting bamboo brooches. While he focused on commercial work, he made sculptures for his own pleasure and, eventually, for display at the Traditional Japan Craft Arts Exhibition.
Hatakeyama had a childhood accident that impaired the use of his right leg. When he was a teenager, an instructor at a vocational school encouraged him to learn bamboo. Later he apprenticed to leading bamboo master Kosuge Shochikudo in his hometown of Sado. Through the 1950s he was swept along by the movement to create sculpture with bamboo and won his first prize, in 1959, at a local exhibition.
A superb technician, the artist's signature is tabane plaiting and
masawari, a challenging technique of knotting pliant strips of bamboo that have been cut from the flesh of the plant.
Hatakeyama has exhibited at Kanai Town Hall Gallery and the Setsuryosha
Museum in Niigata, Japan.
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