Tokonoma Display Summer 2013

I’ve been told that a good tokonoma display creates an setting through which the viewer can be transported to a specific place in time. The objects being displayed must work together to create a unified theme centered around a specific season.

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“Dragonfly & River Mollusk” by Rabani, Accessed 9/21/13, http://rabani.buzznet.com/photos/default/?id=1696507

Two of my favorite elements of summer, water and dragonflies, encapsulate the mix of activity and rest, stillness and movement experienced during the summer.  From the small pond in my parents backyard that was visited each summer by a fiery red dragonfly, to the matchstick thin damselflies that inhabit the stream I take my own son too; the dragonfly symbolizes summer almost as much as its aquatic habitat.

IMG_9640With that said it should be no surprise that I really liked this display. The main object in a very large (6 x 29.5 x 16.75), and may I add heavy, puddle stone (mitsumari-ishi) collected from the Saji river in Japan and donated by Teichii Katayama.

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I have seen puddle stones displayed both with and without water. When they contain water they are almost always placed in a suiban with sand rather than in a wooden daiza. Some also like to not only fill the reservoirs with water but wet the entire stone. As the water dries the color of the stone changes and I think this helps bring some life to an other wise inanimate object.

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Side view showing several puddles.

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What do you see, a mountain lake or a natural bird bath?

IMG_9633Alternate side view

IMG_9628In contrast to the heavy wet stone is a scroll depicting 3 light and airy dragonflies hovering above the water.

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The signature on the scroll reads Shoshen. I was unable to find any information about the artist and would welcome it if you know something about him.

Dragonfly & Autumn leaves, Lightsnow photography, http://lightsnowphotography.photoshelter.com/image/I0000hV12d_wsJWQ ,accessed 9/30/13

Dragonfly & Autumn leaves, Lightsnow photography, accessed 9/30/13

http://lightsnowphotography.photoshelter.com/image/I0000hV12d_wsJWQ

Thanks for reading. I’m looking forward to my favorite season and a new Autumn display.

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4 thoughts on “Tokonoma Display Summer 2013

    • Hi Paul,
      Sorry for the delay. Display like most things relating to bonsai do not follow a hard and fast rule. I myself used to have scrolls off set depending on the objects being displayed. Recently I have been taught that scrolls should be placed in the center of the display. There is a quote I wanted to use to answer your question but haven’t been able to find it. It also depends on the formality of the display. Displays can be broken down into categories like formal, informal, and freestyle and that can dictate scroll placement. I’ll post the quote as soon as I get it. I am by no means and expert on the subject but still learning like everyone else.

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