（Konishi Shorakuen bonsai garden）
January 15, 2010
Yukihiko Konishi, owner of Konishi Shorakuen bonsai garden, serves as head of the Nippon Bonsai Association's Kinashi branch. Konishi is one of the pioneers in Takamatsu's Kinashi area, famous as a major bonsai production center, and has been credited with opening up the new bonsai market through exports abroad and the Internet.
A smiling Yukihiko Konishi stands in front of bonsai shelves at his garden.
Konishi has exported his products mainly to Europe for more than 20 years. He launched his garden's website in 2002 and began selling his products through the Internet. With its know-how built up over long years of exports, Koshini's bonsai garden is fast to handle orders from abroad. Konishi is always quick to respond to fresh trends and information both at home and abroad to meet the needs of the time.
''Large bonsai trees are popular in Europe where lovers enjoy them like garden trees. In China, the boom is changing from large bonsai trees to midsize ones. We can obtain such information through conversations with customers and through contacts of human relationships. We would like to attach importance to maintaining ties with our customers,'' says Konishi, who is in frequent contact with visitors from various parts of Japan and also from abroad.
A 250-year-old kuromatsu (Japanese black pine) tree in a vessel. It measures about 82 centimeters high and about 130 cm wide.
Konishi, who helped run his family's bonsai garden business in his childhood, joined a bonsai club in junior high school and enjoyed hariganekake wiring technique. His career as a bonsai artist has reached 50 years. Konishi believes the sale of bonsai products will face difficulties from now. ''For this reason, the collection of information is essential. We need to find out what kind of bonsai products are sought.'' Konishi is ambitious, saying, ''I would like to keep my eyes on the future, continue to exercise my own ingenuity, and make my own efforts.''