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

Expect Technological Development of Sashiki for Kuromatsu "Zuiho"

November 12, 2015

 Masaaki Kataoka, Zuishoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town, cultivates "Zuiho" which is a mutation species of Kuromatsu. The greatest characteristic is the rough bark of trunk. In addition, there are many other good points: the earliness of bark growth, the thick and hard needles, and the good budding.

Kataoka looking at "Zuiho" grown by Toriki at Zuishoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town
Kataoka looking at "Zuiho" grown by Toriki at Zuishoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town

Mother Tree from Goshikidai

 Around 1955, Kataoka found a Kuromatsu which is 60 centimeters is height and has good bark and needles near his house in Kokubudai, a tableland at the southern edge of Goshikidai. It might be grown after a fire around there in 1946. Soon he took a scion from the tree and started to cultivate it. The name "Zuiho" was named after his garden.

 After that, he tried to increase the tree by Tsuguki and Toriki. In case of Tsugiki, it works well with a two years old Kuromatsu graft. There are many young nurserys in pot at his garden which are grafted last year and transplanted this spring.The stock will be cut in this autumn. After 4 or 5 years cultivation, the trees can be shipped. The Nebari of Tsugiki is very good.

 Compared with Sashiki (grafting), the amount of Toriki is small. However, 3 years after taking the thick part, the tree will get the great taste.

 The technology of Sashiki is lightly developed. For resource protection, many people wait for the research result.

"Zuiho" grafted to 2years old Kuromatsu (right)
"Zuiho" grafted to 2years old Kuromatsu (right)

Ancient Atmosphere in 20 Years Old

 One of the attractions of "Zuiho" is getting the ancient atmosphere in short time which is important for bonsai. Kiyoshi Hiramatsu, Seijuen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town, takes care of a shohin of Zuiho which is 18 centimeters in height and cultivated at Kataoka's bonsai garden. The tree is about 20 years old grown by Sashiki.

Shohin of "Zuiho"

 This tree has many attractions of Zuiho such as the thick and hard needles and the rough bark. In addition, it has the good Mikigamae (trunk style) and Nebari (roots visible out of the surface of soil). The moss at the bottom of the tree makes the great ancient atmosphere.

 Hiramatsu says, "It has many elements of good bonsai. The shape is ideal as Moyogi of shohin. If it gets the ancient look, it will be more attractive."
(By Shigeo Hano)
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