2011 85th KOKUFU BONSAI EXHIBITION

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Re: 2011 85th KOKUFU BONSAI EXHIBITION

Post  xuan le on Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:46 pm

Thank you Bill for the detail and informative report.
I wonder the whereabout of Mr Paul's Ezo Spruce of last year show. Is it in the US soil yet or still in Japan?

Xuan

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Re: 2011 85th KOKUFU BONSAI EXHIBITION

Post  William N. Valavanis on Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:50 pm

Karl,

I've seen photos of your bonsai and you do excellent work! Please do not feel bad. Bonsai is your hobby for you to enjoy. That is the MOST important reason for people to grow and train bonsai. You must first enjoy the trees and I feel if you want to improve there is always room.

You should be proud of your work and artistry.

Bill

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Re: 2011 85th KOKUFU BONSAI EXHIBITION

Post  Dustin Mann on Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:53 pm

Bill, your explanations about trees/pots at exhibition is so very helpful to me. It gives me a greater humble appreciation of our bonsai obsession. For me humility is a touchstone of ancient features of the earth. Dustin Mann

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Re: 2011 85th KOKUFU BONSAI EXHIBITION

Post  William N. Valavanis on Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:26 pm

I am starting every morning with a study visit to Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition. When my mind is full I must leave and go to the Green Club or to visit the temple across the street. Then I usually return again in the afternoon for more study. That's been my schedule for this week.

This morning as I was studying the bonsai I saw Kunio Kobayashi looking at each and every tree, and I was fortunate to be able to join him as he went through the entire show. What a learning experience!

Susumu Nakamura speaks English and is one of the members of the NBA who is in charge of the exhibition. He was one of the 12 judges for the acceptance judging in January and was also one of the three judges who select the coveted "Kokufu" Award (National Bonsai Award). The other two judges are Hiroshi Takeyama (NBA "president") and Mr. Ito. They selected the five award winning bonsai.

I asked Mr. Nakamura about the Kurume azalea which was in full bloom. I was wrong in my earlier posting. Apparently some trees are forced to bloom for this show, primarily the Japanese flowering quince and this Kurume Azalea. The owner of the Kurume Azalea lives north of Tokyo where it is colder than here now. It's funny, 80% of the evergreens show their "winter" coloring, while about 20% are protected to show off their bright green coloring. I'm sorry about the incorrect information I presented earlier, I learn every day.

Also, I forgot to mention another interesting bonsai, a Yakushima rhododendron, Rhododendron yakushimanum. This is a very unusual species trained for bonsai. It was collected on Yakushima Island and trained in the multiple trunks style. Although this species has beautiful whitish pink flowers in spring, it is primarily grown for the beautiful indumatum (fuzzy texture under the foliage which also covers the new growth, very striking. This bonsai was great, however, the owner REMOVED all the plump flower buds before displaying. This ruined the natural appearance of the bonsai.

This afternoon I watched as several people were removing the spent flowers from the Japanese flowering apricot bonsai. Others which were in bud on opening day are now in full bloom.

Every time I visit I greet Ikki Yoshimura (Yuji Yoshimura's nephew) who is now the proprietor of Kofu-en Bonsai Garden, as he is always watering and misting the shohin bonsai. There are 9 shohin bonsai compositions and I counted 48 individual specimens displayed here in one area. There are other shohin bonsai in the show used as accessory bonsai for larger specimens. Ikki told me that he must water these 48 trees twice or three times daily. That's all he has been doing this week.

And, as long as I'm reporting on shohin bonsai I saw something interesting I'd like to share. In November at the Taikan Ten Bonsai Exhibition (Grandview Bonsai Exhibition) held in Kyoto I carefully watched as Mr. Takeyama inspected a small cascade Japanese five-needle pine bonsai. Soon, Masahiko Kimura and Haruhiko Kato came over there was a big discussion about this small bonsai. Others came too and I saw a large amount of money change hands from Mr. Takeyama to the proprietor who was selling the tree. Mr. Takeyama purchased the bonsai as an accessory for a larger bonsai which belongs to one of his clients. So, this week I carefully looked to see if it was on display and it was.

Tomorrow morning I'll visit Kokufu Ten for my last study before I board my plane home. . . to shovel snow. I hope you enjoyed my reports.

Bill


Wednesday at the Exhibition. Mr. Nakamura is on the right and has white hair.


Hiroshi Takeyama, left, and Harukiko Kato, right, inspecting shohin bonsai at Taikan Ten Bonsai Exhibition in November 2010.


Japanese five-needle pine with "sold" tag after purchasing by Hiroshi Takeyama.


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Re: 2011 85th KOKUFU BONSAI EXHIBITION

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:42 pm

William N. Valavanis wrote:I asked Mr. Nakamura about the Kurume azalea which was in full bloom. I was wrong in my earlier posting. Apparently some trees are forced to bloom for this show, primarily the Japanese flowering quince and this Kurume Azalea. The owner of the Kurume Azalea lives north of Tokyo where it is colder than here now.

Is this what I asked about earlier, the tree with the magenta flowers I wondered was a bougainvillea?

Glad you're having such a nice time! Thanks for the pics and wonderful information!

R

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Post  William N. Valavanis on Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:49 pm

Russel,

Yes, the magenta flowering bonsai is a Kurume azalea, Rhododendron obtusum, which was forced for the exhibition. There also was a small bougainvillea with a couple of small flowers, nothing like the grand specimens in Florida and California. I also saw a small, interesting Rosemary which came from Italy in the display too.

Bill

Russell, are you familiar with the Yakushima Rhododendron?

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Re: 2011 85th KOKUFU BONSAI EXHIBITION

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:03 pm

Karl, as I do, you do bonsai as your hobby I expect. Enjoy it every minute and if you love to take care and develop your own bonsai, there is no need to be sorry for not being able to bring up large sums of money to buy Kokufu awarding bonsai. I am not, and I enjoy bonsai as much. I enjoy watching Bills reports and my own travels to Japan. Knowing I am not wealthy, not a full time professional, being able to own these masterpieces my self. So I enjoy (fully) watching these and growing my own. If you take a walk in a private bonsai enthusiasts garden in Japan with the same income as us not wealthy and not poor people, you can compare your self with them I guess. They enjoy their bonsai, although not able to buy the masterpieces with great age i.e. I have visited some private bonsai gardens, and think many in the west doing good when comparing to the level of artistry. We have to be realistic when comparing our bonsai with others.

I too think from what I have seen you do very fine bonsai. We work with what´s available and enjoy each others works.

Thanks again Bill for this insight knowledge that I really appreciate you are sharing. Some surprising knowledge too. Have a safe trip home to the snow Smile


Best regards
Morten

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Re: 2011 85th KOKUFU BONSAI EXHIBITION

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:08 pm

I am, it was planted throughout the Bonsai Park in the bonsai display areas. I saw a few in pots, but calling them bonsai would be a stretch. I'd love to see the one you mention.

I really appreciate your comments on satsuki. I would ask Mr. Rokkaku to submit his for Kokufu-ten but he'd flatly refuse. Satsuki shows were satsuki shows, and bonsai shows did not include satsuki even though the level of their training was amazing. You know I'm not talking about those "snakes", but rather BEAUTIFUL bonsai. Like you mention, none of the satsuki masterpieces in his collection were in glazed pots unless they were antique Chinese glazed pots. All of his best satsuki and other bonsai were in antique pots. I like your comment about satsuki in winter and enjoying their structure. It was also amazing to see their fall color too. They are so much more than flowers, and I didn't know that until I got to Kanuma and saw it for myself. We don't see that so much here on the coast.

R

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Re: 2011 85th KOKUFU BONSAI EXHIBITION

Post  Karl Thier on Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:49 pm

William N. Valavanis wrote:Karl,

I've seen photos of your bonsai and you do excellent work! Please do not feel bad. Bonsai is your hobby for you to enjoy. That is the MOST important reason for people to grow and train bonsai. You must first enjoy the trees and I feel if you want to improve there is always room.

You should be proud of your work and artistry.

Bill

William and Morten, of course I am happy with my trees and delight me to them. I have many old trees waiting for their design. When I look at the Kokufu trees then you know where you stand and it feels very small. I'm not negative because I know what I want to achieve. This is for me to see and learn. Very Happy


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Re: 2011 85th KOKUFU BONSAI EXHIBITION

Post  Robert J. Baran on Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:11 pm

Thank-you very much for the postings, Bill.

For newer members, please see this overview of Kokufu ten, http://www.phoenixbonsai.com/Days/Kokufuten.html , for background to this thread.

Robert J. Baran
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Re: 2011 85th KOKUFU BONSAI EXHIBITION

Post  Jesse on Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:26 pm

Thanks Robert,

That link to the event's background was very informative and made this thread much more meaningful. Greatly appreciated.

Jesse
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Re: 2011 85th KOKUFU BONSAI EXHIBITION

Post  bonsaimeister on Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:34 pm

Thanks for all the great pics and info, Bill. Any chance of a few photos of the green club sales area?? Very Happy

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Re: 2011 85th KOKUFU BONSAI EXHIBITION

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