Japan 2011 - Mansei-en and the oldest bonsai in the world

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Japan 2011 - Mansei-en and the oldest bonsai in the world

Post  Guest on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:19 pm

Since Saburo Kato died in 2008 a lot have changed at Mansei-en in Omiya. Still the special coastline arrangement of Ezo Spruze can be seen, and it has been kept well and established on a new special place in the nursery. Mansei-en has been totally rebuild, and the new buildings are very beautiful in the new arranged nursery.
One great drawback though was the killing of several valuable prize winning bonsai. Firstly rumours where around (in Europe at least) that someone killed the trees deliberately. But the fact is that rain running from the new copper roof poisoned the trees and killed them. Therefore all trees are now moved away from the roof ends, and even when it rains any trees in danger of having any sprinkles from the roof are watered thoroughly just after the rain stops to be sure nothing happens to them.

A treasure at Mansei-en is a special Juniper collected in the mountains some time ago. The tree is estimated to be app. 2000 years old, making this the oldest bonsai in the world. This bonsai is still in developing stages, but just the knowledge of its age makes it a very rare and special tree to watch.

Photographing is not allowed at Mansei-en, but I gained special permission due to our friendship with Saburo Kato.
See more at www.shohin-europe.com

Regards
Morten


Saburo Katos Ezo Spruze creations that produces the image of the Russian coastline. Here late Saburo Kato collected the Ezo Spruze with is father in a young age, and decided to make this coastline to keep a happy memory of this father.




2000 year old juniper making it the oldest bonsai in the world.


















New shadow purpose building, to protect some trees during the summer period.




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Re: Japan 2011 - Mansei-en and the oldest bonsai in the world

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:00 pm

Wow, that last picture... Schizophragma hydrangeoides... amazing!

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Re: Japan 2011 - Mansei-en and the oldest bonsai in the world

Post  DuncanH on Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:11 pm

Absolutely outstanding Morten – truly inspirational images from Japan and great quality as always!! Smile Smile

Thank you for sharing these – they are great to see

Best regards,
Duncan

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Re: Japan 2011 - Mansei-en and the oldest bonsai in the world

Post  cosmos on Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:26 pm

Have to agree with Duncan. Just awesome.

Cosmos

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Re: Japan 2011 - Mansei-en and the oldest bonsai in the world

Post  NeilDellinger on Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:06 am

Not sure what Russell said...but I agree. Very Happy

Terrible to hear about the mistake regarding the copper roof.

A 2000 year old collected juniper is pretty amazing.

Thanks for the many excellent reports Morten.

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Re: Japan 2011 - Mansei-en and the oldest bonsai in the world

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:12 pm

NeilDellinger wrote:Not sure what Russell said...but I agree. Very Happy

Neil, that's one of the plants commonly called "climbing hydrangea". I have a weakness for offbeat plant material as bonsai.

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Re: Japan 2011 - Mansei-en and the oldest bonsai in the world

Post  Guest on Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:26 pm

These specimens might seem offbeat material because we do not see them at bonsai exhibitions. This is because this kind of material is aimed for exhibit in a summer Tokonoma display, and normally there are no exhibitions in Japan during the summer because it is the growing season.

The lightness of such a specimen is good to express the feeling of a cool summer night, or to suggest a calm feeling of a summer day. So go ahead and grow something like this, because it is beautiful to watch too. In some Shohin displays items like that one is seen as secondary tree, because it is easier to fit in a shohin display when part of several other items. Here the fresh green leaves shows early autumn awakening or another specimen with berries in autumn can suggest the time of year. Trunk thickness is less important than at "normal" bonsai.

Regards
Morten

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Re: Japan 2011 - Mansei-en and the oldest bonsai in the world

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:50 pm

You hit the nail on the head Morten.

Because we don't see these 'summer" plants in show albums - Mimosa, Hydrangeas, Sumac, Viburnum, Akebia, etc - we don't realize how many are actually used!

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Question for the guys who know

Post  NeilDellinger on Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:53 pm

Regarding Morten's point about species not commonly seen in exhibitions & their use in summer displays.......

Maybe this is a good question for someone like Bill Valavanis to provide input, given his role in the US National Exhibition.

Its interesting that in the US we tend to have exhibitions in the spring and summer...aka the growing season. Why not have more exhibitions in late winter in the US?

It would be great to see an exhibition in the US that had dormant deciduous trees. In my opinion, this is when they are most beautiful. And, it would be much easier to view the trees branch structure.

Neil

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Re: Japan 2011 - Mansei-en and the oldest bonsai in the world

Post  William N. Valavanis on Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:52 pm

Neil,

I agree with you about appreciating bonsai during the winter when they are dormant and display a different type of beauty with bare twigs, buds and bark.

As far as the US National Bonsai Exhibition goes, who would want to go to Rochester, NY in the winter? Our snows begin in November (sometimes in October) and people may get snowed in and must remain until the snow melts in April.

Early summer is the best time to visit Rochester, NY. There are plenty of fine quality bonsai which look good at that time of the year.

Unfortunately, I'm unable to produce a US National Bonsai Exhibition in a location other than Rochester, NY. My dedicated and supportive "crew" all live here and it would be not be possible to replace them.

So, please prepare your bonsai for display in early June. NOW is the time to begin submitting photos for the selection process.

Russell: I share your love for unusual bonsai too!

Bill

Here is an unusual bonsai–



Porcelain berry
Ampelopsis brevipendunclata

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Re: Japan 2011 - Mansei-en and the oldest bonsai in the world

Post  NeilDellinger on Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:37 pm

Bill,
If Rochester is anything like Geneva Illinois in winter, I completely understand!

Thanks for sharing your tree. As much as I like the plant, I really appreciate the pot. And especially the good combination of the two. It really compliments the berries.


Neil

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Re: Japan 2011 - Mansei-en and the oldest bonsai in the world

Post  Guest on Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:14 pm

We lack winter exhibitions too in Denmark. So far I believe, it had much to do with trees not yet good enough to stand with naked branches, but I believe we could manage that today. Quality is there now for some bonsai.
Next problem is unstable winters, making it difficult to know if everything is covered with snow and but freezing, or mild and friendly. Difficult to organize if you don't know if its attractive or even possible to take trees out of winter protection and get them ready to show. Normally we have mild winters but the last two have covered the country in heavy snow and freezing, so it would have been impossible to make anything during the winter months.
Therefore spring, early summer, and autumn will be best possible and attractive season around here. Although I would love a winter exhibition some time.
Back to the subject, I like these non-ordinary species you present. Thanks for good inspiration.

Regards
Morten

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Re: Japan 2011 - Mansei-en and the oldest bonsai in the world

Post  NeilDellinger on Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:04 am

Morten,
Do you know the history and the "story" behind the very old juniper? How long in a pot, when was it collected and by who?

Hopefully you are able to share some of the story behind such an amazing tree.

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Re: Japan 2011 - Mansei-en and the oldest bonsai in the world

Post  ndleong on Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:32 am

Morten

Vow is fascinating.. thanks for sharing

Nd

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Re: Japan 2011 - Mansei-en and the oldest bonsai in the world

Post  fM on Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:05 am

woow, amazing images and photography; thanks for sharing

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