A Hand Twined Basket: Akebia Vine
mid twentieth century
8 1/4" h x 12 1/4" w x 9 1/2" d
210.5 cm h x 31 cm w x 24 cm d
This is a beautiful, hand twined basket which is made of a native Japanese flowering plant, the akebia.
Akebia is one of the several vines, vine barks and plants that were used to hand craft baskets in old Japan. Akebia is a strong and flexible material, so much so that to this day it is quite easy to find tea pot handles which are made from this natural material.
This good sized basket was probably used for foraging.
It is not symmetrically designed: the proper "back" side of the basket slopes backward, which indicates that it would have been made to either wear against the back, or to carry against the side of the body while collecting vegetal material in the forest. More than likely this basket may have had some kind of rope or twine handles or straps attached to it.
The color and the condition of the akebia fiber is very good. The basket is extremely sturdy and durable. There is very little wear to the piece, no breaks at all, and overall the hand woven basket is still very handsome and serviceable.
A wonderful hand craft from old Japan.