Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Opening day of the 84th Kokufu Bonsai-ten

Today was the opening day of the 84th Kokufu Bonsai-ten – the biggest and the most prestigious annual bonsai exhibition in Japan. There were 269 exhibits. To me such large number of absolutely magnificent trees was too overwhelming. I felt that each tree should have been admired alone without other masterpieces overshadowing it. The standard of the trees was so high that I haven’t seen anything like that in any of the Australian Bonsai exhibitions. Unfortunately, taking photos in the exhibition was prohibited and I managed to take only a few snaps, when security personnel weren’t looking. I was lucky enough to have a little Kokufu-ten adventure and it began when I heard someone speaking in Russian. Turns out it was the lingua franca used by a Lithuanian and a Czech. The Litvanian was Kestutis Ptakauskas of Morning Dew Garden, Lithuania and the Czech was Vaslav Novak of Bonsai Centrum, Czech Republic. They introduced me to their friend Mr. Sun You Won, the Chairman of Korea Small Bonsai Association. I told them about my Pictorial English-Japanese Dictionary idea and Mr. Sun You Won kindly introduced me to Mr. Hiroshi Takeyama, the Chairman of Nippon Bonsai Association and Mr. Susumu Nakamura, the Director of Nippon Bonsai Association (the big boss). Mr. Nakamura spoke English and told me that his son might be able to help me to find a partner for this project. His son Mr. Makoto Nakamura was somewhat critical about the project idea, but when I explained that it would be a very visual book with lots of drawings he asked me to send more details by e-mail. Now the ball is in my court!

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