Kinbon Photoshoot

The nicest weather I experienced during the trip was on my third day in Japan, the rest of the trip was either cold and windy, cold and rainy, or cold and snowy. This day however was sunny and pleasant, which was great since the bonsai magazine Kinbon, was coming to do a photo shoot of the trees that were headed for Kokufu-ten.

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These trees had already been photographed once before when they were judged a few weeks prior to my arrival. It was interesting to find out that all the bonsai in the Kokufu exhibit are judged and photographed almost a month before the actual show.

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Since then they were being kept in the workshop, protected from the elements. This meant that my sempai Takuya and myself would be lifting trees for most of the day.

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This needle juniper had some of the tightest foliage pads I’ve ever seen. This tree was from Gashoen, another bonsai nursery nearby, and Mr. Suzuki was taking it to the show for them.

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Not the best picture of a very nice japanese black pine. For whatever reason the photos I take with my iphone don’t capture the whole image as it appears on the view finder.

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Even from the back this semi cascade white pine looks awesome.

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More trees were also being kept in the reception area which is where the photographer set up his backdrop. Since this beech was the closest tree it was the first one to be photographed.

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Once things were set up the photo shoot did not take as long as I thought. The displays had been thought out by Mr. Suzuki long in advacnce and it was simply a matter of us removing the tree, Mr. Suzuki changing the stand and then we were there with the next bonsai to photographed. Very effecient.

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The next one up was one of my favorite trees. A bunjin white pine which had beautifully old shari.

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Since this years Kokufu was a double show, meaning there were two sets of bonsai exhibited, each set was judged and awarded. This already famous Kichou, (Important Bonsai Masterpiece), root-over-rock JBP won “Best Conifer” of the second group.

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In addition to the big trees there were several three-point-displays photographed.

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Japanese White Pine with kumquat shohin and small fern. The kumquat was kept warm in a small plastic greenhouse inside the Suzuki home along with a few houseplants.

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Another killer japanese white pine smiles for the camera.

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The same semicascade white pine from above, but now paired with a shohin root-over-rock japanese maple, and perhaps the most famous accent plant ever.

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I really liked the character of this tree, great trunk. It is a procumbens juniper or sonare in Japanese, with foliage as tight as your ever going to see.

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Once photographed each tree was set out to catch some much needed rays. After we set this tree down I noticed something white around the nebari. It looked like the tree had some fungal issue.

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Concerned, I asked Takuya about it, he smiled and said “Strong tree”. I am no stranger to mycorrhiza but I’ve never see it as abundant as this, it was growing up the nebari! Not only is this a strong tree but its another kichou bonsai.

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This quince was one of the shohin used in another three-point-display. Not only is this tree top shelf, but check out the patina on its pot. Kokufu trees are transplanted into antique Chinese and Japanese pots for the exhibit then put back into their “growing” containers after the show.

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The very last thing I did was give each tree a much needed watering. If you have the chance pick up a copy of Kinbon to see the actual photos. As always, thanks for reading.

 

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Falling into Winter, Autumn Bonsai Exhibition 2013

IMG_9747Thankfully things in Washington got sorted out in time for our annual fall exhibition. The exhibit runs from October 26 – November 10. Trees will be rotated in and out as they come into peak color and I will post addition pictures as we change them.

IMG_9712Bradford Pear, Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’, In training since 1976, Styled by the first curator Bob Drechsler.

IMG_9713Three point display: Pomegranate bonsai, scroll with gourd and calligraphy, and contorted mondo grass.

IMG_9714 Pomegranate, Punica granatum, In training since 1963, Donated by Alice Naka.

IMG_9715 Contorted mondo grass, Ophiopogon chingii.

IMG_9717Trident Maple, Acer buergerianum, Age unknown, Donated by Stanley Chin.

IMG_9719 English Hawthorn, Crataegus oxycantha,  In training since 1955, Donated by Bertra Bruenner.

IMG_9720 Close-up of trunk and fruit.

IMG_9721 Three point display: Crabapple bonsai, scroll of Mt. Fuji and rising sun, and Japanese forest grass accent.

IMG_9722 Toringo Crabapple, Malus seiboldii ‘Toringo’, In training since 1905, Donated by Shyuichi Ueda.

IMG_9723 Japanese forest grass, Hakonechloa macra.

IMG_9724 Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum, In training since 1906, Donated by Ryutaro Azuma.

IMG_9725 Close-up of trunk and nebari.

IMG_9726 Chinese Elm, Ulmus parvifolia, In training since 1906, Donated by Yee-sun Wu.

IMG_9727 Close-up of hollow trunk .

IMG_9728 Three point display: Gingko bonsai, viewing stone, and sedum.

IMG_9729 Indian Blanket Stone donated by Melba Tucker, and sedum.

IMG_9730 Three point display: Sweet Gum bonsai, scroll with bird and nandina, and Japanese bloodgrass.

IMG_9731 Sweet Gum, Liquidambar styraciflua, In training since 1975, Donated by Vaugh Banting.

IMG_9732 Japanese blood grass, Imperata cylindrica, pot by Sharon Edwards-Russell.

IMG_9733 Chrysanthemum Stone, Donated by Kemin Hu.

IMG_9734 Detail of chrysanthemum.

IMG_9735 Star magnolia, Magnolia stellata, In training since 1986 , Donated by Kazuo Moriyama.