Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

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Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  The Lad on Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:52 pm

Hi Everyone

I have just been reading on the Web about Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century and 3 Gentleman such as Master John Yoshio Naka + Master Yuji Yoshimura and Master Saburo Kato

It got me thinking How does one become a Bonsai Master, Who decides and at what stage will a Bonsai Expert become a Master

I understand its a lifetime of work and dedication and the willingness to learn to improve your Art, Skills and Knowledge all the Time

Being a Extremely late starter to the Bonsai World and as I was growing up I always thought it was just for OLD MEN to pass the time away HOW WRONG I HAVE BEEN all these years

Then another Question Is There any Ladies Bonsai Master !!!

would be interesting in all your views

take care look after yourself and your bonsai trees

Jim thelad



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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  fiona on Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:41 pm

We had this discussion a number of times over the years. The most recent was one I started a couple of years ago. (HERE) Didn't go very far as most people recognise that in the absence of any sort of formal bonsai "qualification structure", we have to rely on broad definitions of the word "master" some of which don't fit easily with what we do in our art.

And the answer to the question about women masters, IMHO why differentiate? A master is a master irrespective of their gender. Women master the art of something; they don't ladymaster it. Very Happy I think most women who fall into the category would prefer to think they are masters on merit and not because they are female.

Let's see where the resurrection of this leads us though.


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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  PaulH on Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:52 pm

Kathy Shaner was the first Western woman to complete a bonsai apprenticeship in Japan and is certainly a master. She is the curator of the Golden State Bonsai Federation's collection in Oakland, Ca. and travels worldwide teaching and demonstrating.
Here's a link http://wiki.bonsaitalk.com/index.php/Kathy_Shaner

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  The Lad on Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:07 pm

Hi Fiona

thanks for pointing me to the past discussing on March 2009

In this day of Political Correctness on how we should address this and that and I agree A Master is a Master know matter what the gender and they are there on their own Merit

And after reading what Paul H. has added Kathy Shaner must be up there in the Master's Class

Each Continent surely must have a few nominee's and the term Master is Not solely used for Japanese + Chinese + Korean or others in the Continent of Asia

I am trying to learn everyday by asking questions or browsing online how the system works for someone to be awarded the Accolade of "Master of The Art Of Bonsai Culture "

Our very own British + European + North and South American PLUS every other Culture who Participate in learning all about the Art of Bonsai MUST have personnel whom they all consider Master in the "Art"in their opinion

Being a newbie I am even in AWE of our Judges that judge our Club Society Members Show so I can only ever DREAM of meeting a TRUE Bonsai Master and watching them at work on their Bonsai Trees

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Paul H

Thanks for the info and the link http://wiki.bonsaitalk.com/index.php/Kathy_Shaner + I just glanced through it to finish writing this

I will check the site out shortly Fully

Take care thanks for joining in the discussion

Jim thelad









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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:12 pm

A good rule of thumb is that anyone who considers him/herself a master, and would actually go so far as to state such about him/herself probably isn't one. The 3 fine gentlemen you mention would tell you they are students. Kathy Shaner too I'd imagine. I can't see her going around passing out business cards saying "Kathy Shaner, Bonsai Master". But there are some, even here, that probably do. It has a lot to do with ego more than anything else - like actual skill and artistry.

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  fiona on Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:33 pm

Russell Coker wrote:A good rule of thumb is that anyone who considers him/herself a master, and would actually go so far as to state such about him/herself probably isn't one. The 3 fine gentlemen you mention would tell you they are students. Kathy Shaner too I'd imagine. I can't see her going around passing out business cards saying "Kathy Shaner, Bonsai Master". But there are some, even here, that probably do. It has a lot to do with ego more than anything else - like actual skill and artistry.
That indeed was one of the things we agreed on previously too. Very Happy

Jim, you've maybe heard the following expression but if not, I think it's very true in the context of how all these things are relative:

"To the novice I'm a master, and to the master I'm a novice"

If we accept that bonsai is a never-ending learning process as most of us do, then our place in the grand scheme of things is surely seldom static.

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  Mitch Thomas on Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:15 pm

IMHO
I think the title "Master" is a given title and not a used title. It is given as respect, much like the term "Sensi"

As far as being a female or male thing I think it also falls into the same vanacular.

Mitch

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  JimLewis on Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:13 pm

Master = anyone who KNOWS more than I do about a given subject, but not someone who THINKS he or she does.

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modern masters bonsai in the 21 st centry

Post  moyogijohn on Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:16 pm

IMHO,,Jim gave a great answer !!! me i think of myself as nothing,, I GET my help here most of the time.. some people know more some less. master is a title to me .. who needs it just take care of your trees,,keep them alive !! take care no offence intended i promice.....john

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  Tony on Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:23 pm

The worry I have of when folk start in Bonsai a few 'enlightened' individuals set themselves up as 'teachers' after working with a 'master' for a year or so.

The older I get the more I realise I know so little... but... I AM getting there... pale

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:57 pm

Russell Coker wrote:A good rule of thumb is that anyone who considers him/herself a master, and would actually go so far as to state such about him/herself probably isn't one. The 3 fine gentlemen you mention would tell you they are students. Kathy Shaner too I'd imagine. I can't see her going around passing out business cards saying "Kathy Shaner, Bonsai Master". But there are some, even here, that probably do. It has a lot to do with ego more than anything else - like actual skill and artistry.



I actually received a business card from somebody who offered to wire and designed my trees- It says that word actually- "_ name_ bonsai master", services offered- Bonsai maintenance, Lawn/garden maintenance and garden plant supplier.

It still made me laugh today.



And yes... lot of "Bonsai masters" in this forum. some trained in some bonsai nursery in Japan, then came home acting like an "enlightened ONE"...Don't mess with these guys. Twisted Evil

regards,
jun Laughing


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Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  The Lad on Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:33 pm

Hi All

Very interesting reading and many of us have different views on what is a Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Do you think it would be beneficial if there was a system when a Bonsai Master would have to show and have a Degree like in other Professions as in the Medical , Lawyer, Educational world but then with easy access to the internet many many documents and certificates could be self made on line

So Reputation and Demonstration of Skill obtained over a period of time or do we all have to wait till someones passes away before ALL his work is Appreciated like some of the Great Master of the Paint World they seem to get more recognized after they have departed

Take care and look after each other and all your Bonsai Trees

Jim thelad


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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  JimLewis on Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:51 pm

The honorary initials would be Joe Blow, BM . . . and that wouldn't work.

In answer to the question: a resounding NO. The world is too billy-be-damned organized already.

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  Tony on Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:12 pm

Hi Jim ...this is real simple...take a look at the teachers trees... Trees they had had for some time and not trees they have just styled. That's most of the qualifications you will need. If YOU like them... There is your answer.

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‎"Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see." — Rumi

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  fiona on Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:43 pm

tony wrote:Hi Jim ...this is real simple...take a look at the teachers trees... Trees they had had for some time and not trees they have just styled. That's most of the qualifications you will need. If YOU like them... There is your answer.
Hmmm. Dilemma. I personally find it difficult to take instruction in anything from someone who I don't think is personally talented. But by the same token, translated into bonsai terms, they can have the best trees in the universe but if they treat a student with arrogance and contempt and are only there to tell the students that they have the best trees in the universe then they are no master as far as I am concerned.

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:32 am

fiona wrote: "To the novice I'm a master, and to the master I'm a novice"

I like that very much.

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Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  The Lad on Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:53 pm

quote="tony"]Hi Jim ...this is real simple...take a look at the teachers trees... Trees they had had for some time and not trees they have just styled. That's most of the qualifications you will need. If YOU like them... There is your answer.[/quote]

That's fair enough to say Tony BUT and for me a BIG BUT these days if you have the £'s or $'s or what ever currency you use to me many guys purchase SPECIMEN TREES ( is that the right word to use for out of this world Trees) so unless you know the individual its difficult to tell it that person has had his trees a while. Then there's the Honesty factor can you take a person word all about his Fabulous Tree or Trees.and what they have achieved with the Bonsai Tree or where he has practice his Craft and Art of Bonsai and how long for

I have read that in the Far East many many Trees are Heirlooms and past down from generation to generation which is a great thing as it would be a disgrace to loose these Fabulous well maintained Specimen's of Bonsai Trees Does this happen as well in Europe or the America's

Being a novice at many things even life itself I suppose I know i am not even on the FIRST Rung of the Ladder in Bonsai Terms

Take care look after yourself and each other and most of all take care of ALL your Bonsai Trees as it is a Partnership between You and Your Trees


Jim the lad

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  Kakejiku on Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:54 am

In Japan many formal arts have rankings. Most commonly thought of are those that apply to Martial Arts. But many other art forms rely on the ranking system. This is how my wife's calligraphy Society ranks.
Kyu - 1-10 Ikkyu through Jukyu
Dan - 1-10 Ichidan through Nidan
Junshihan
Shihan
and then others ranks above that. Hanshi, Kyohan etc.
Depending on the organization you belong to in Japan rank means you have reached a certain level of expertise and skill by a group of judges within that organization. Some organizations would say you have to be at least Godan (5th Level) to teach someone else. Many organizations set the bar higher than that, saying Shihan is the minimum rank to be able to teach others.

I am not aware of a ranking system like this in the Japanese bonsai organizations, but who knows I may be wrong. I also do not run to my Sensei and ask him whether I have become a nanakyu hyougushi (scroll maker).
I do it because I love what I do...bonsaiists probably for the same reason.


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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  The Lad on Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:08 pm

Hi Kakejiku

Kakejiku wrote:In Japan many formal arts have rankings. Most commonly thought of are those that apply to Martial Arts. But many other art forms rely on the ranking system. This is how my rank wife's calligraphy Societys.
Kyu - 1-10 Ikkyu through Jukyu
Dan - 1-10 Ichidan through Nidan
Junshihan
Shihan
and then others ranks above that. Hanshi, Kyohan etc.
Depending on the organization you belong to in Japan rank means you have reached a certain level of expertise and skill by a group of judges within that organization. Some organizations would say you have to be at least Godan (5th Level) to teach someone else. Many organizations set the bar higher than that, saying Shihan is the minimum rank to be able to teach others.
====================

Hi Kakejiku Thanks for your very good insight about other organizations in Japan This is something I would like to see in the Bonsai Culture a RANKING SYSTEM seems a great way to STOP lots or many of so-called Bonsai Bonsai EXPERTS especially for a Beginner

I am not aware of a ranking system like this in the Japanese bonsai organizations, but who knows I may be wrong. I also do not run to my Sensei and ask him whether I have become a nanakyu hyougushi (scroll maker).
I do it because I love what I do...bonsaiists probably for the same reason.

==============================

So what would your interpretation Kakejiku of what makes a Bonsai Master in Japan be !!!

I presume a Master pass on all his knowledge and skill over a period of time to his students then the students develope their own skill and technique hope one day to become a Bonsai Master or can THE STUDENTS NOW CALL THEMSELVES BONSAI MASTERS because of whom they learned their Art and Bonsai Craft from

If your wife's calligraphy Society's have ranking would it be fair to say there's no reason why a Ranking Sytem cannot be implemented in the World of Bonsai

Is their such a thing as a GRAND MASTER or how many of The Art Of Bonsai do we have around !!!!

Many many thanks for giving us an insight about other organization in Japan

Take care and look after yourself and each other

Jim thelad

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:25 pm

The Lad wrote: I presume a Master pass on all his knowledge and skill over a period of time to his students then the students develope their own skill and technique hope one day to become a Bonsai Master or can THE STUDENTS NOW CALL THEMSELVES BONSAI MASTERS because of whom they learned their Art and Bonsai Craft from

Your presumption is correct, at least the first part. It's not like bonsai class. For me it wasn't "OK, now we're going to learn to wire." It was more like pulling weeds and sweeping up debris before I was even allowed to water bonsai. My teacher was very direct when he told me I'd have to "steal" his techniques. He let me make mistakes because he knew it was the only way to learn. Trust me, you don't forget an ass-chewing, and you'd better not make that mistake again.

I think you're a little hungup on lables.

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  JimLewis on Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:31 pm

I think you're a little hung up on labels.


Hooray! Finally. Someone said it.

As the IBC's Official Grump (MY title), I was a bit nervous at being first to say that, as it makes me even grumpier when folks jump on me for doing my job.

Titles, labels, honorifics . . . I have never, and will never, understand why people want these so badly.

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:28 am

You're welcome.

Russell - grump-in-training

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  fiona on Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:48 am

Russell Coker wrote: Russell - grump-in-training
... and fast learner. Twisted Evil There's an obvious question here: Russell - was Jim your grumpiness Master or do you have another teacher? But to make an attempt to turn this back to the original point without losing two good (if somewhat grumpy) friends, what about someone who is entirely self-taught in their art? Can we say that they have truly "mastered" the art if there has been no formal input? And what about someone who works to a high standard of bonsai but who never teaches? In both cases they may have mastery but are they Masters?

The more I think about this question in relation to Bonsai, the less I am convinced that there will ever be a satisfactory answer. And preserve us from "formal qualification" schemes. I might be able to scrape through on the bonsai History, Theory, Soils, and Art and Design units but I suspect I'd be forever doomed to not achieveing black belt level by not being able to pass Basic Wiring. Laughing


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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  JimLewis on Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:24 pm

The more I think about this question in relation to Bonsai, the less I am convinced that there will ever be a satisfactory answer.

Or . . . does it even matter?

Just learn what you can from someone who knows what you want to know at the time. That may end up being several someones over the course of the years.

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

Post  The Lad on Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:47 pm

[quote="Russell Coker

I think you're a little hungup on lables. [/quote]

I have thought about that Russell before I asked the Question BUT I don't think i am hung-up about Labels, titles all I want to know is How does one become a Master in the Bonsai World and why are they called Masters

WHY do i want to know !!! simple how many times have you heard or read or maybe Say,that Bonsai Master so and so Bonsai Master this and that has done this or achieved that and or That a Bonsai Master has departed for greater things in the after life went they have passed away Being a newbie to Bonsai I have heard that saying a few times from Bonsai Gentleman who have been in Japan or Europe and spent some time learning and working under Bonsai MASTER So and so

=============================================
I agree with Jim L

"Just learn what you can from someone who knows what you want to know at the time. That may end up being several someones over the course of the years."

Would you say Actions speaks louder than Words Jim as there's a few guys who have the Gift of the GAB or as they say "Talk the Talk" but don't do a good job demonstrating I prefer both at the same Time,Action and Explaining whats going

====================

Fiona

"I might be able to scrape through on the bonsai History, Theory, Soils, and Art and Design units but I suspect I'd be forever doomed to not achieveing black belt level by not being able to pass Basic Wiring"

Your doing better than i am as i am in the Mold of a few guys at W-B-S who prefer Clip and Grow but i am always willing to change and the way things are going I may have too

=========================

JimL

"Titles, labels, honorifics . . . I have never, and will never, understand why people want these so badly."

Would you have a Landscape Garden into your Garden without checking out if they qualify for what you want them to do !!! BUT I am sure you would do some checks but how many people would check out a Gardener They may see the a fancy logo or sign saying what they can do BUT can they !!! !!!!

=============

I have asked a few Senior members of W-B-S and also asked they WHO WOULD THEY CONSIDER THE TO FIVE EUROPEAN Bonsai Artists TO BE IN THE MASTER CATEGORY Out of ALL the people who were mentioned only One was named was mentioned by them what they gave and had different opinions and reason why the considered their choices

Take care and hope you can name your TOP 5 BONSAI ARTIST and WHY

Take care everyone and look after your bonsai trees

Jim thelad

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Re: Modern Masters - Bonsai in the 21st Century

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