Stuck in Tokyo or a visit to Shunka-en Bonsai Museum In The Rain
Because of a delayed flight I stayed overnight at a hotel near Narita Airport. Got up early, worked on the magazine, wrote a recommendation for a close friend then took off to visit Kunio Kobayashi’s Shunka-en Bonsai Museum. I just got back to the airport and had the pleasure to ride on a bus, four trains, two subways and three taxis in order to visit bonsai in the rain, and well worth the effort.
Bonsai look different in the rain and are difficult to photograph. Yuji Yoshimura taught me that bark texture and color are best when dry to see the details. Well, I did not have a hair dyer to dry off the trees and I have loads of Mr. Kobayashi’s bonsai in the sun, so simply enjoyed the bonsai in the rain and took some…
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This morning was spent visiting the Shunka-en Bonsai Museum of Kunio Kobayashi in the Edogawa Ward of Tokyo. Fortunately, Peter Warren from England was at the museum and had time to show our group around explaining interesting details about the museum, containers and display, in proper English too.
This weekend Mr. Kobayashi is holding an exhibition of his client’s bonsai so all of the apprentices were busy cleaning trees and polishing the tables and containers. Trees were actually being placed as we enjoyed their beauty. It was interesting to me to watch three apprentices carefully place a Japanese maple bonsai on a display table as one took charge to perfect the positioning.
As in October, I noticed even more pieces of charcoal on the soil surface of many bonsai. Many of the pieces were quite large as well. Since many of the bonsai were transplanted in spring, it is easier…
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This year the autumn viewing season for maples has been excellent. A sign in our hotel indicates the stage of leaf coloring in several of the popular viewing areas. It looks like we visited Kyoto at the best time, too bad I did not have the opportunity to visit any of the gardens.
Last views of the 34th Nippon Taikan Bonsai Exhibition
Sargent juniper, Juniperus chinensis var. sargentii ‘Shimpaku’
Only three shohin bonsai compositions this year were displayed. In early January there is a huge shohin bonsai exhibition which fills the entire building.
Shishigashira Japanese maple, Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashia’
Japanese black pine, Pinus thunbergii. This masterpiece bonsai was created by Kenji Oshima and won the Prime Minister Award at last year’s Professional Bonsai Exhibition.
Even the suiseki were carefully watered. Note the cloth placed behind the stone to avoid moistening the valuable display tables.
Winged spindle tree, Euonymus sieboldiana
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Autumn In Kyoto
This morning a few of us visited a large flea market at the Toji Temple, which is near our hotel in Kyoto. We arrived early to avoid crowds, but were met with hoards of people including many foreigners looking and buying. Near the main entrance there was a large area with vendors selling flowers, plants, dried fruit and even bonsai.
It appeared as though anything you wanted could be found here, antiques, clothing (new and old), jeans, car license plates from Washington state, snacks, old books, antique scrolls and inserts, dishes, light bulbs, cutlery, tools, bonsai tables, stones and even pins! Lots of good stuff and we left fully loaded with goodies. We did not visit the snack shops….
34TH JAPAN TAIKAN BONSAI EXHIBITION
Today was the set up and judging for the 34th Japan Taikan Bonsai Exhibition one of the main Japanese exhibitions . Earlier…
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The 34th Nippon Taikan Bonsai Exhibition opened this morning after the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony. The show was well attended and the crowds continued to increase until mid-afternoon. Although anyone could take photos it was a bit difficult with people getting in the way. Also the yellow and purple backgrounds did not help with the white balance and different lighting.
Japanese five-needle pine, Pinus parviflora
Rock cotoneaster, Cotoneaster horizonatlis
Japanese yew, Taxus cuspidata
While setting up the exhibition I happen to notice a couple photos of my trees being assembled for a special exhibit. The photos were recognized but I wonder where they got them. So I asked and was told that Toru Suzuki asked for photos for a special World Bonsai Corner photo display. Then I remembered that I did send the photos months ago. Perhaps a bit of old age creeping up here, no just gracefully “maturing.”
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