Ouchi Gyokuso (1879-1944)

Tokyo, circa 1910

A study of two bamboo shoots takenoko

A study of two bamboo shoots (takenoko), one larger than the other, bound together with rice straw twine. The overlapping sheaths of growth and spiked blades are carved in minute detail. Signalling the end of winter, the bamboo shoot is so emblematic of Spring that it is accepted as a seasonal name when it appears in haiku.

A study of two bamboo shoots takenoko
A study of two bamboo shoots takenoko

Signed: Gyokuso
Length: 3.4cm

With hakogaki inscribed: (top): 筍、木彫根付 Takenoko, kibori netsuke [Young bamboo shoots, carved wood netsuke]
(reverse): 玉藻 Gyokuso with seal 玉藻 Gyokuso.
Gyokuso, The father of Ouchi Sosui, studied under Joso, who is considered the founder of the ‘So school.’

Signature