Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Learning from troubled tree

Those are my recent works at Kouka-en.
The student of "Fujikawa International School of Bonsai" usually works on those materials.
I hope those trees are helpful examples to imagine how you wire at the school.

1, Han-Kengai (Semi-cascade)

2, Shakan (Slanting)

3, Sokan (Two-trunk)

The trunk and the branches of the tree I wired are similar to left side tree which is Kicho Bonsai (Important Bonsai Masterpieces).

4, Moyogi ( Informal upright)
This tree hadn't taken care appropriately.
Problem 1) Branches run up and down.
I wired flatly to be same level of other branches. When it was difficult, I cut it.

Problem 2) Brunches are twisted.
The twisted brunches were very thin and weak. I untwisted and place branches in the right position.

Problem 3) Too many branches run from the same part.
I cut and left two branches.

Finally, I squished the top part by guy-wire to make it compact.
< Point >
I think what professional work is that professional can wire as if it’s a leafy tree even if the tree has got a few branches and a few leaves.
How you can make it is

  • To place branches certain distance
  • To make a lot of different level branches

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day バレンタインデー

Feb. 14th is Valentine's Day when woman gives chocolate to man in Japan. And then girl tell someone she loves him. Woman also gives chocolate for someone out of a sense of social obligation.

Department and store make special chocolate booth for Valentine's Day. Women come and buy expensive special chocolate for the special day. 

Mar. 14th is called White day. Man who received chocolate at Valentine's Day must give something in return. For example, candy, marshmallow and so on.

School boys compete with their friends the next day how many chocolates they got. Of cause, the most handsome boy in the class room usually get the most chocolates.

I gave chocolates Oyakata (boss) and apprentices last year. I think it’s difficult to do this year because Oyakata and one of apprentices have been to Kokufu exhibition.

I bought some chocolates for myself. These are my favorite chocolates “Tim Tam”. I also love any Swiss and Belgium chocolates.

I hope you have a nice Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Frost protection 霜よけ

It's coldest season here in Japan. I often find frost in the morning.
We usually use shadowing net to prevent from frost in winter but we don't use it this year.
Other nurseries put trees under boards or in a room to prevent from frost.
I'm latest apprentice, so I always go to nursery earliest in the morning. Then I can see the beautiful frost glittering.


I found a lot of trees have got many thin roots on the surface of the soil. Trees are waiting for repotting.


The buds of Japanese apricot have become bigger day by day.


When I was walking on the street, I smelt sweet flavor from Chimonanthus praecox. When I see wild trees on the street, I tend to think what this tree is going to be if I cut branches and wired.
Spring is coming soon here in Osaka, Japan. I can’t wait for repotting my trees.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Gafu-ten 2015 / 第40回 雅風展

Shohin Bonsai exhibition took place in Kyoto in January.
If you want to improve your Bonsai skill, I recommend you to go to exhibition and look really high quality trees. Here at Kouka-en, we don’t have a lot of Shohin Bonsai nor don’t display those. Shohin Bonsai is brand new for me, so I was looking forward to seeing it.


When I entered the place, I saw many display booths and trees were displayed beautifully on the shelf in each booths. I guess everybody would think “ Lovely! ”. The small trees radiated infinite fascination.


There are some rules of Shohin display:
  • Different species and style
  • Different shape and color of pot
  • Color of fruit and pot shouldn’t be the same
  • Each tree shouldn’t be the same height ( Use display stand, so you can change the height)

  • 異なる樹種・樹形
  • 異なる鉢の形・色
  • 実と鉢の色が同じにならないようにする
  • 樹高の高さが同じにならないようする(→卓を使って高さを変えることで解消できる)
After knowing those rules, you would be very impressed by harmony of tree, accent plant and display stand. As Shohin Bonsai is totally designed whole harmony, I think Shohin Bonsai is “This is Bonsai.” I imagine that the owner would think “the pot is good on the tree. I should put the tree here rather than over there.” After imagining so, I admire those trees sincerely and tree looks lovelier.

樹の幹や枝ぶりだけを鑑賞するのと違い、鉢・卓・飾りを包括的にデザインする小品盆栽は「This is Bonsai.」だと思いました。この日の為にオーナーさん達は、この樹にはこの鉢が似合うかなとか、この樹はこの位置の方がいいかなと色々と考えられたことでしょう。それを思うと尚更、愛おしく立派に思えてなりません。

I heard that many people give up big size of Bonsai and start small size. I think the one of the reason is Shohin pot. Since there are so many colorful, painting, unique Shohin pot, it stands to reason. And I’m one of the people who are really into pot. Of course, people want to display their favorite tree with great pot.


Shohin pot artist contest

I think the best advantage of Gafu-ten is to see pot artist. It was awesome to see all those pot artists which I only knew from their seals and stamps. Finally, I met Haruyoshi and Juko in person. They were sincere and clement that’s why I think their pots are high quality and trusted. A lot of people were curious and looked at Juko’s demonstration.


 Juko's  demonstration

Nowadays, Shohin Bonsai is popular in Japan.  I could see from a lot of numbers of display, many shops, and guests at Gafu-ten. It motivated me to start Shohin display.


( PR ) Kokufu-ten which is the highest level of Bonsai exhibition in Japan take place in Tokyo from Feb.5th to 13th. Please come and see it.