Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bonsai talk in Tokyo

During my trip to Japan I met an Italian bonsai enthusiast who was also interested in Japanese garden design. This time he visited some Japanese gardens off the beaten track, went to Nagoya to see Tokonoma bonsai pots and then visited Kokufu-ten. He said that Tokyo region is definitely the leading center of bonsai art in Japan. Masahiko Kimura is considered as No. 1 bonsai master, with Kunio Kobayashi close behind. However, he pointed out that a shohin master Tomohiro Masumi of Koju-en nursery, Kyoto stands out as one of the leaders in the area of small bonsai. He shared his experience of visiting the studio of one of the most revered Tokonoma bonsai pot makers. His name is Gyozan Nakano. The Italian gentleman actually witnessed the master potter working on one of the larger pots. He said that he makes them by coil building and than burnishes them with a wet brush. I am sure there is a lot more to it, but he was certain that he doesn’t use any press molds. He told me that Gyozan Nakano makes pots only to order. If someone orders a bonsai pot he makes three pots and sells the customer the best one among them. I also asked him about Salvatore Liporace who is coming to Sydney to demonstrate at the National Bonsai Convention this year. In his opinion Liporace is one of the best in Italy, however he also mentioned Othmar Auer a German speaking bonsai artist from Northern Italy. He also introduced me to the Secretary of the Unione Bonsaisti Italiani and some guy form the San Marino Bonsai Club (all three were staying in the same hotel as me). Below is the picture of shohin displays at Kokufu-ten.


Rodrigo Sousa said...

Hello Kigawa.
I have followed your journey in Blog, and is wonderful.
A virtual tour that I have done through their magnificent sharing.
And I have done in other webs and collected excellent images, I have saved as well sharing in my Blog.
Thank you and congratulations.
Rodrigo Sousa
From Portugal

Kigawa said...

Thanks Rodrigo.