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Variois Tools (2) Future Subject: Succession of Skill of Artisan

April 3, 2013

Once again, we interviewed Yoichi Nakanishi, Nakanishi Chinshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town, about tools for bonsai. He showed us his tools to curve trunks and branches for adaptation and to carve the Shari and the Jin which he made. Both are the technical tools for the experts.


Tools to curve trunks and branches (two of the right) and tools for carve (two of the left)
Tools to curve trunks and branches (two of the right) and tools for carve (two of the left)

Help Power Technique

 The two tools of the right in the picture are used to curve trunks and branches for adaptation. They are no name and his original which he ordered from blacksmith. It is necessary to bend thick trunks and to change the angle. To bend branches over without breaking is a power technique. So he pays considerable attention to cure. Right after wiring, he removes tools from trees.

Nakanishi made the two tools of the left in the picture of screwdriver by himself. Those tools are used to carve Jin and Shari. They came from his idea in his long bonsai experience. It can be used for secluded trunks and branches to carve.

Adaptation Real Pleasure

 Looking at a new tree, he thinks how to adapt to set off the best part of it. And he bent the straight trunks and branches, and creates the front of the tree. These works are the part of adaptation. He thinks it is the real pleasure of bonsai and produced some good works. The best season for adaptation is from November to spring when trees stop growing.

Kuromatsu (Japanese black pine) "Kotobuki" which Nakanishi is adapting by the tools
Kuromatsu (Japanese black pine) "Kotobuki" which Nakanishi is adapting by the tools

 Nakanishi who is particular about tools has a concern of the historical background. it is the decrease of craftsman making tools. The number of Tokoname pots good for bonsai is decreasing because of the decrease of artists making pots. The number of blacksmith is also decreasing because of the reduction of demand. He thinks, "The important part for good bonsai is not only trees but also tools fit comfortably in hands and pots people can enjoy choosing." He hopes the succession of the skill of an artisan.

Nakanishi bent the trunk of Akamatsu (Japanese red pine) at Nakanishi Chinshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town.
Nakanishi bent the trunk of Akamatsu (Japanese red pine) at Nakanishi Chinshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town.
(By Shigeo Hano)

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