Living National Treasure
end of bolt for the design called Cluster of Guords, showing artist’s label, Baiken Rokutani
This is a marvelous example of extremely fine stencil carving by Rokutani Baiken, who was declared a Living National Treasure in 1955 and passed away in 1973.
Master Ise Stencil Carver Rokutani Baiken
重要無形文化財 伊勢型紙錐彫 保持者
born 1907 in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture
1919（大正 8） 父・芳蔵のもとで修行
began studies under his father, Rokutani Bouzou
began research into extremely fine, sharkskin-pattern stencils while working for Komiya Kousuke
As you can see from the back, the entire bolt was first dyed a solid color in a vat of fresh-leaf tadeai (Persicaria tinctoria), after which the paste was applied to the front side through the stencil carved by Rokutani Baiken. Once the paste dried, several more coats of the dye were brushed on. Eventually the paste was washed away revealing the detailed imagery of “One-Thousand Gourds”.
close up of both sides of the bolt
detailed description of bolt
The paperwork attached to the bolt gives us quite a bit of information.
伊勢型紙 Ise Katagami
千成瓢箪 One-Thousand Gourds
Custom has it that the souls of the gods take refuge in this type of gourd, and keeping one about helps to bring to fruition all your aspirations. Hideyoshi Toyotomi’s battle standard was this gourd. With every battle won he added one more gourd to the standard, so that in time he was reputed to have one-thousand gourds dangling – scaring away anyone who would seek to challenge him.
人間国宝 六谷梅軒 彫刻 Carved by Rokutani Baikan, Living National Treasure
二代目 六谷梅軒 彫刻 Carved by Rokutani Baikan II
Additional information elsewhere on the bolt indicates that the fabric was woven in Japan using Japanese silk.
artist's signature and stamp
The characters in the upper right of the label read 千成, sen-nari, which means “a large cluster”, but by way of a pun it also means “one-thousand successes” and so is used for felicitous occasions.
The wording in the rectangular area reads Living National Treasure, Rokutani Baiken and bears a stamp in red with his full name. The gourd shape bears a stamp of just his first name, Baiken.
Baiken Rokutaini II was born in 1937 as Hiromi Rokutani and took his father’s name in 1996.
1937 (昭和12年) 三重県鈴鹿市寺家町に生まれる (本名 六谷博臣）
born in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture (birth name: Hiromi Rokutani)
1953 (昭和28年) 中学卒業、同日より父について修行
graduated middle school in and began instruction under his father
1963 (昭和38年) 伊勢型紙技術伝承者養成事業第一期生として４年間錐彫部門専修
undertook training in the traditional techniques of Ise katagami carving and became a specialist in punch style after four years
1992 (平成４年) 三重県指定無形文化財保持団体、認定会員
became recognized as a member of Mie Intangible Treasure Preservation Society
1993 (平成５年) 伊勢型紙技術保存会会員、理事に選任
became a member of the Ise Katagami Arts Preservation Society, and elected as director
1995 (平成７年) 伊勢型紙技術保存会会員、副会長に選任
member of the Ise Katagami Arts Preservation Society, and elected as president
1996 (平成８年) 還暦を機に父の雅号「梅軒」を襲名
took his father’s name “Baiken” on the occasion of his 60th birthday
Rokutani Baiken II