Kosuge Kōgetsu


Kosuge is the son of Kosuge Chikudo, a well-known bamboo artist in Sado.

As a boy, he spent many hours in his father's studio learning bamboo basketry. He was a slow learner and unsure of himself. Often he felt inferior to his father's assistants and students who were quicker studies. At one point he declared, "I am no good. I am quitting," to which his father responded that his son had a wonderful gift. "If you are a fast learner," his father told him, "you are not putting enough effort into it."

Kosuge studied tea ceremony and created baskets that expressed his earnest, charismatic personality. Among his prestigious awards are the Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Prize at Japan's Flower and Tea Ware Art Exhibition and the Niigata Nippo Prize at the 16th Prefectual Art Exhibition. In 1972, the Niigata Governor commissioned the artist to create a basket as a gift to the Emperor of Japan and six years later he became a full member of the Japan Craft Art Association.

Despite this recognition, in the 1970s he rejected Japan's rigid system of public exhibitions in favor of working for himself. He became independent to focus on making baskets that would please tea masters and his clients.

Kosuge's work is in the collection of the San Francisco Asian Art Museum.