Yoshizen's Blog

My old Basket


I found 130 years old photos of Japan, pretty well hand-colored and preserved.  

Among them, this was a photo of a Basket maker and his work samples.

(This is a studio set-up photo by an Italian Photographer

— Photo Credit / 1886-Japon-Adolfo Farsari )

It’s amazing to see, the technique and the design hasn’t been changed much

—– I mean, if anybody still doing it somewhere in the world.

And funnily enough, I have one which has been with my life (mostly in the

mountain) for the past 50 years or more !


I bought this when we went to a mountain in the northern Japan, I found it in 

a local shop.  = it may looks a bit odd taste for a techno orientated Hi-school boy,

though I was a very opinionated noisy student, a sort of a nemesis of the school

authority then.  And I had a view to feel shame for the loss of the traditional

culture and the crafts.   Not because of a nostalgic feeling, but I did know such 

kind of crafts could be much suited for the daily life and even stronger for a long 

term use, as its historical fact = it has been kept used 100s of the years by the folks

= it’s mean, it has been repeatedly modified and refined. = it IS the

manifestation of the accumulated wisdom came from user’s side, not from the

head-big designer or the seller’s side !

Basket-3-A09A2625And after so many years of the journeys and the climbs, it’s mean packed tight

in the backpack, tumbled, pressurized etc all sorts of hard use, still my basket is 

almost intact because of its flexibility.    It has been used not just packing

important items such as toolbox, first-aid kit, survival food, money, train ticket 

etc but also it was my pillow in the tent or where ever.  In any emergency,  grub 

it and jump-out the tent and run. (if we noticed a flush-flood or avalanche kind

is coming) —– In real life, once I run-away (to the side) from an avalanche and

move the tent just before a flush-flood came down, so not much serious trouble

I actually experienced.  (other than, hard climbing itself.  🙂 )


You may wonder, why I didn’t use plastic container.    In fact I did, though,

they didn’t work well in the Winter mountain where the temperature goes down

minus 20~30 degree C. = they easily break.   And the another disadvantage of

the plastic container was,  when the water get inside, it stayed there for ever.

(They are not water tight = when they got pressure, their rid easily come off)

—– So, I’ve been happily together with Bamboo.   🙂



2 Responses

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  1. bentehaarstad said, on September 7, 2015 at 22:19

    very nice photo and craft work in that basket. I agree with you, and did all my coscious life, admiration of good handicraft and traditions. Contrary to you I am even nostalgic about it, such things are good for my soul, but not only.

    • yoshizen said, on September 7, 2015 at 23:19

      Thank you Bente.
      When I was small, Tokyo was a recovering burnt-down city, and there wasn’t such craft work.
      I only learnt their existence when I went to the countryside = I didn’t grown-up with them = hence no nostalgy.
      Still, I could see how they were well made.

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