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

Shohin Display: Enjoy Combination Freely

March 5, 2016

 The Shohin bonsai is small but has the ancient and great atomosphere like a large tree. It raises in popularity because of the easiness and the saving-space display. Most of trees are below 20 centimeters in height. The display of a tree is beautiful but it becomes more attractive for Sekikazari. A young woman displays it at Shunshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town.

Wabi-sabi in Mind

 Tomoko Kinashi, Kinashi town in Takamatsu, tries to make shohin display for the first time. She is a descendant of Jinzaburo Kinashi, who built the basis of Kagawa's own bonsai from the end of Edo to Meiji. Her guide is Koji Hiramatsu, the 4th generation of this garden and the director of All Japan Shohin Bonsai Association.

Hiramatsu watches Kinashi making her display at Shunshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town.
Hiramatsu watches Kinashi making her display at Shunshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town.

 At first, Kinashi was worried about what kind of trees to choose. The trees she chose were as big as the table so it is difficult to make the good balance. Hiramatsu advised her, "Space is important. If you display many large trees, it can't have the good taste of Wabi-sabi." After that, she reselected the trees, changed the angle, and moved the stand on the table. Finally she finished the shohin dislay which have the fresh atomosphere in summer.

Kinashi is choosing the trees at Shunshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town.
Kinashi is choosing the trees at Shunshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town.

Ways in Seasons

 Kinashi displayed the 50 years old Kuromatsu as a main, Chojubai (Japanese quince), Pirakansa (Pyracantha), Shinpaku (Chinese juniper), Akamatsu (Japanese red pine), and Tsumerenge (Orostachys japonica) as Soe (companion plant). Hiramatsu said, "It has the good balance between trees and the whole harmonization. From the viewpoint of tendency of tree's shape, it may be better to change the main Kuromatsu and Akamatsu in the right."

First work of Kinashi
First work of Kinashi

 Kinashi says,"At first, I wanted to display many trees to be gorgeous. But Hiramatsu told me the space and the simple display make a good taste so I changed my mind. Next time, I want to do in the different season."

 In summer, the bright green has the cool feeling. The colored leaves in autumn and the flowers in spring is very fine. The tree without leaves in winter has the great atomosphere. Shoshin display has many ways to enjoy in each season.
(By Shigeo Hano)
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