The sasa ground bamboo leaves in the background are painted in the ink line (hakubyô) technique, setting up a space for two black bamboo shoots. At first glance this work looks more like a design painting than a Nihonga painting, and indeed it is a work that takes decorativeness, a reverence for form and color, to the highest degree. During World War II, Heihachirô visited a bamboo grove on the outskirts of Kyoto and made numerous sketches of bamboo and bamboo shoots as preparation for this work. During this sketching process he was drawn to the bamboo shoots with a "black lacquer-like gloss," and decided to leave out the full-grown bamboo in order to depict "the powerful form of the bamboo shoot, shattering the earthen surround to grow upward." He later explained that what he had actually seen was red earth and bamboo shoots, but that seemed a somewhat sparse composition, so he added outline-form-only images of fallen bamboo leaves.