Koide Bunsei was born in Nagano City in 1960. His grandfather was well known
bamboo basket maker in Nagano making order-made bamboo baskets. His
father took over the family bamboo basketry business at age 19 when his grand
father passed away, and expanded the family business not only making bamboo
baskets but to harvest and sell bamboo, and later became a famous bamboo
At the age of fifteen, his father showed Bunsei a book on Shono Shounsai, the
first Living National Treasure in bamboo art. He was shocked to see someone
could make such powerful and beautiful artworks with bamboo. Bunsei asked
where this person lived. His father told Bunsei that Shono Shounsai lived in Oita,
and there was a bamboo training school there. Bunsei said to his father "please
send me there."
When he graduated from the bamboo training school, he apprenticed to local
master Iwao Honan for three years, and went back to Nagano. While helping his
father's bamboo business, Bunsei makes his own artwork and submit to the local
and national competitions. He has won eight prizes at the Nagano Prefectural
Craft Arts Exhibitions including "Governor's Award" in 1998, and also has won
four prizes at the Eastern Japan Traditional Craft Art Exhibitions including
"Chairman's Prize" in 2000.
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