Nakatomi Hajime


b. 1974, Osaka, Japan

  • 1999

    Graduated from Waseda University, Department of Commercial Science
    Studied ceramics in University Club

  • 2002

    Graduated from Oita Prefectural Technical Institute, Department of Bamboo Arts

  • 2005

    Studied under Honda Syoryu in Beppu City

Exhibitions & Accolades
  • 2002

    Exhibited at Tigerman Himmel Gallery, Chicago, IL

  • 2003

    Oita Prefectural Governor’s Award and Special Award at the 39th Bamboo Craft Arts Exhibition
    Oita Prefectural Governor’s Award at the 38th Japan Craft Arts Exhibition, Western Division

  • 2004

    Contemporary Japanese Crafts, Japanese American Cultural Community Center, Los Angeles
    Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Arts, the Hand Workshop Art Center, Richmond, Virginia
    Beppu Mayor’s Award at the 40th Bamboo Craft Arts Exhibition

  • 2005

    President of Oita Bamboo Industrial Nations Award at the 41st Bamboo Craft Arts Exhibition

  • 2006

    Power & Delicacy: Master Works of Japanese Bamboo Art at TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
    Hin: The Quiet Beauty of Japanese Art, Grinnell College, IA and Chicago Cultural Center, IL
    Beyond Basketry: Japanese Bamboo Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
    President of Beppu City Council Award at the 42nd Bamboo Craft Arts Exhibition
    Solo Show, Gallery Shibata, Beppu

  • 2007

    The Next Generation, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA
    The Arts of Pacific Asia Show, San Francisco, CA
    Solo Show, Gallery K, Oita
    New Relationships between Bamboo and Society, Oita Art Plaza
    Cape of Good Hope in Design, Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum
    The Shapes of Bamboo Art I, Iichiko Cultural Center Gallery, Oita
    East Weaves West: Basketry from Japan and Britain, Collins Gallery, Strathclyde University, Glasgow

  • 2008

    New Bamboo: Contemporary Japanese Masters, Japan Society, New York, NY
    Michael West Gallery, Isle of Wight
    Hove Museum, Hove, East Sussex
    Nationaal Vlechtmuseum, Noordwolde, Netherlands
    The Shapes of Bamboo Art II, Oita Art Plaza

  • 2009

    Many Shapes of Bamboo III, Oita Prefectural Art Museum, Oita
    The Shapes of Bamboo Art: 9 Oita Bamboo Artists, Kubote Document Museum, Buzen, Japan
    Bamboo World, Oita Prefectural Art Museum
    Toraya Gallery, Tokyo

  • 2010

    Milano in Bottega Veneta Home Collection, Salone Del Mobile, Italy
    First International Triennial of Kogei in Kanazawa,  21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art Kanazawa, Japan

  • 2011

    BAICA X Vannier, RURU Gallery, Saiki, Japan
    The Shapes of Bamboo Art: 8 Oita Bamboo Artists, Fukuoka Mitsukoshi

  • 2012

    BOX Vol. 2, Gallery 02, Tokyo
    Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art, The Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, Hanford, CT
    47 accessories, d47 MUSEUM, Tokyo
    Taketa Art Culture 2012/Tikuraku, Yoshikawa-ya, Taketa
    Bellevue Arts Museum, WA

  • 2013

    Oita’s Art Movement, in partnership with the Oita Prefectural Government, a museum-quality show, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
    Charity Gala 2013 with GUCCI, Revalue Nippon Project, Japan
    Taketa Art Culture 2013, Gallery Sakanoue, Taketa
    Product Design Today: Creating “Made in Japan,” MOMA Tokyo
    Dennos Museum, Traverse City, MI
    Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, MI

  • 2014

    Group show, Japanese American Cultural Community Center, Los Angeles, CA
    Oita Bamboo Art: From the Modern to the Future, Beppu Municipal Museum

  • 2015

    Oita’s Art Movement, JACCC, Los Angeles, CA
    Japanese Bamboo and the World Expo: A Century of Discovery, Japanese Friendship Garden, San Diego, CA

  • 2016

    Discovering Japanese Bamboo Art, Indiana and Purdue Universities, IN
    Special Award at the 52nd Bamboo Craft Arts Exhibition

  • 2017

    Bamboo: Historias de um Japao, Japan House Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Bamboo Traces: Contemporary International Bamboo Art & Craft Exhibition, National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute, Taipei
    Special Award and Oita Prefectural Governor’s Award at the 53rd Bamboo Craft Arts Exhibition
    Asia Society, Houston, TX

  • 2018

    Oriental Bamboo, Crafts Museum of China Academy of Art, Hangzhou
    The Language of Bamboo: Contemporary Bamboo Art, Gallery 27, Kyoto
    Beppu Bamboo Craft Association Chief Director’s Award at the 54th Bamboo Craft Arts Exhibition

  • 2019

    Bamboo Art: 26 Artists, Takashimaya Nihonbashi, Tokyo
    We Were Always Here: Japanese-American Post-war Pioneers of Art, Heather James Fine Art, San Francisco, CA

  • 2020

    Masterpieces of Bamboo Art: Katsushiro Soho and Fujinuma Noboru, Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, Utsunomiya, Japan

    Winter Shadows, TAI Modern, Santa Fe, NM

  • 2021

    Ten Thousand Flowers, TAI Modern, Santa Fe, NM

  • 2004

    Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, Los Angeles, CA

  • 2006

    Grinnell College, IA

Museum Collections
  • Brighton and Hove Museum, UK
    Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, Hanford, CA
    Hove Museum, East Sussex
    Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, CA
    Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN
    Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum
    National Taiwan Craft Research Development Institute
    Beppu Bamboo Craft Museum
    Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
    Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA
    Racine Art Museum, WI


Bamboo are rapidly growing ever-green plants which are recognized as a symbol of vitality in Japan. People have also believed that bamboo has the mysterious power to drive out evil. That is why bamboo has been used in rituals for centuries in Japan. My mission is to translate this mysterious vitality into shapes.

I employ unconventional techniques to highlight the shapes that I create. Geometric design may give an inorganic impression at a glance, but it actually demonstrates the vibrancy of bamboo upon closer inspection. Vibrancy hidden in a veil of inorganic design makes “pink noise.”

I use unconventional, eco-friendly dyes and lacquers, and their wide variety of colors give a modern appearance while adding another layer of mystique to my work. Static weaving employed in dynamic design makes a stark contrast, further enhancing the bamboo.

  • Ten Thousand Flowers

  • Japanese Bamboo Art at Santa Fe Art Week

  • The Next Generation

  • Japanese Bamboo and the World Expo: A Century of Discovery

  • Oita’s Art Movement

  • Oita’s Art Moment