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

Tell Elementary School Student, Cultivate Mind to Attached to Hometown

July 6, 2015

 At elementary school in Takamatsu's Kinashi and Kokubunji where is well known as bonsai growing area, students have classes of bonsai. The aim is to cultivate a mind to value nature and to be attached to their own hometown through the experience of care of bonsai, pride of the towns.

Look Forward 10 Years Later

 In Kokubunji Hokubu elementary school in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town, the third grade students learn bonsai at integrated study class every year. It is called "Akamon (red gate) study" named from a cultural assets in this school.

 The teacher is Koji Hiramatsu, an ex-student of this school and the 4th generation of Shunshoen bonsai garden near there. The students take care of a 3 years old Goyomatsu (Japanese white pine) whose hight is about 15 centimeters and cultivate a mind to value nature at the same time. In Christmas season, they enjoy decoration of their own trees.

Students learn how to care bonsai from Hiramatsu at Kokubunji Hokubu elementary school in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town.
Students learn how to care bonsai from Hiramatsu at Kokubunji Hokubu elementary school in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town.

 Hiramatsu told them, "Pine trees need 3 years to be this height. So take much care of them. Especially watering is very important for them to live. During summer vacation, keep watering twice in a day. Look forward to the growth 10 years later."

 The students write their names on the pots and give water before and after school.

Students giving water to young trees of Goyomatsu
Students giving water to young trees of Goyomatsu

Some Questions Asked

 There are many bonsai fields in this area and some students' families cultivate bonsai trees. So they are highly conscious of it.

 After a lecture, they asked how to care. Some technical questions were asked like "Is it necessary to give water in winter?", "How about in rainy days?", "When is the best season to transplant?", and "Is it better to remove the wires when the tree become bigger?"

 A teacher of the third grade students, Noriko Kuniki, says, " Akamon gakushu is a tradition of this school. It is good for students to learn bonsai from the artists in the largest bonsai producing area.
(By Shigeo Hano)
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