BONSAI WORLD A series of articles by The Shikoku Shimbun focuses on the attractions of bonsai which encapsulate small universes in containers.

Tree's shape (5) Neagari and Kabudachi: Attraction is Natural Shape and Magnificent Atmosphere

November 7, 2012

 The pine trees of Neagari style (trees with exposed roots) is one of the tourism resources in Japan. It can be created by artificial means. Kabudachi (trees with multiple trunks extending from its foot) expresses a wild nature with a tree. The trees have magnificent atmosphere.

Arrange Branches to Fit Roots

 Neagari expresses a tree in the nature with its exposed roots by the mudslide and rain. There are two types in Neagari: a gathering of thin roots and a thick root. The important point for both is to arrange the branch's position to fit the roots.

 Masaaki Kataoka, Zuishoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town, grows a Misho pine tree whose roots come out from the soil about 48 centimeters. The tree is very poplular with its higher Neagari than normal one.

Kuromatsu (Japanese black pine) whose roots come out about 50 centimeters at Zuishoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town
Kuromatsu (Japanese black pine) whose roots come out about 50 centimeters at Zuishoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town

 Kataoka says, "If you would like to create Neagari having curve, taste and movement, it is good to grow a seedling in two stages with Azenami (a sheet for agriculture) and 18-liter square can. The trees will have a natural shape and then gain an air like the ancient tree in 25 to 30 years."

Nature in Pot

 Kabudachi is a shape of tree having trunks more than 3 extending from its foot. It expresses a landscape of natural fields and mountains in a pot. It's preferable that each trunk has different thickness and length, and all parts maintain a good harmony.

 Sometimes a tree having multiple trunk and wider shape than Kabudachi is called "Netsuranari".

Kabudachi of Goyomatsu having magnificent atmosphere at Konishi Shorakuen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town
Kabudachi of Goyomatsu having magnificent atmosphere at Konishi Shorakuen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town

 Yukihiko Konishi, Konishi Shorakuen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town, grows a Kabudachi of Goyomatsu (Japanese white pine). He says, "I bought this tree in Saitama. This tree's balance is good. Looking at the trunk surface, it must be over 60 years old. Now I use scissors instead of wire to arrange the soft shape. The 5 thin trunks create magnificent and ancient atmosphere."
(By Shigeo Hano)
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