Takezaiku, or bamboo weaving, is an ancient form of Japanese art that involves taking a strong but inflexible material (bamboo) and making it not only moldable, but beautiful at the same time. It involves slicing the sinuous bamboo into strips, soaking them in water, and weaving them, generally into baskets and other utensils. Japanese tea ceremony makes use of many takezaiku crafts: beautiful, simplistic and durable. Though the advanced skills used in takezaiku were developed in commercial cities like Osaka and Kyoto, they were brought to Beppu in Oita Prefecture in the 19th century, where bamboo was plentiful. Today Oita is known as the home of the finest takezaiku craftspeople, where the new generation is pushing the boundaries of the art form from mere practical everyday objects to objects of high aesthetic value.