Torii Ippo began his career in bamboo arts at the age of 21, 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 by making
copies of his father's baskets.
In 1959, he visited an exhibition of treasures housed at Todaiji Temple in
Nara. At the time he was feeling unsure whether he had the talent for
bamboo. "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.," he recalls. "The basket was rather flat-shaped
and it had remained in perfect condition for over 1,200 years. Its power
instantly charmed me. That moment determined my career as a bamboo artist."
Torii is often selected as a judge for public exhibitions in Japan and has
demonstrated bamboo art in Germany. His pieces are in collections at the
Nishio City Museum, Nishio Cultural Center, and Mint Museum in Charlotte,
North Carolina. One of his baskets is a promised gift to the Museum of Art
and Design in New York City.
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