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Various Tools (1) Good Tool for Good Work

March 26, 2013

 It needs various tools to create a good bonsai. The tools help bonsai artists to improve the work efficiency and to produce a good bonsai. Yoichi Nakanishi, the 5th owner of Nakanishi Chinshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town, showed us his important tools like a part of his body.

Efficiency and Fineness

 The most common tool is scissors. It is necessary not only for bonsai artists but also for nonprofessional people to cut branches. The white ones are made of stainless steel. From the left, a scissors for cutting branches, for thick branches, for Mekiri (cutting the buds), and for Metsumi (picking out the buds).The black one which is made of iron is also for Mekiri. The stainless steel scissors are more expensive than iron one because it is easy to take care and lasts for a long time without rust.

Scissors for cutting
Scissors for cutting

 Nakanishi says, "For good working, I prefer to use the good tools regularly. The good ones have better feel and better sound. In addition, it can be fixed."

 There are also many kinds of scissors to cut or remove wires. Same as scissors for cutting, the white one is made of stainless steel and the black one is made of iron. For different uses, there are a variety of different shapes such as curved edge, long grip, and the size of a palm.

Scissors to cut or remove wires
Scissors to cut or remove wires

 There are also many shapes of scissors to cut branches: round edge, sharp edge, downward cut edge, and so on.

Scissors to cut branches
Scissors to cut branches

Tools for Trees

 For scissors, the main tool for bonsai, there are so many kinds. That is to say, it can be used for various purposes. Bonsai artists use the different scissors according to the position and thickness of each branch. So it requires the ability to select an appropriate tool. In addition, it is necessary to have a fine sense. Cutting branches, they consider not only the shape just after cutting but also the tree's growth.

Yoichi Nakanishi cut the buds at Nakanishi Chinshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town.
Yoichi Nakanishi cut the buds at Nakanishi Chinshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town.

 In general, we learn how to select and use tools from the ancient wisdom and experience. However Nakanishi says, "I think it is important to try without fearing failure. Even if you fail, it helps you to improve." And he adds, "I am sure tools are not for bonsai artists, but for the living trees."
(By Shigeo Hano)

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