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

Tighten Masterpiece Keep Beauty And Make Better

March 14, 2016

 The masterpieces shown in the popular exhibitions as Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition and Taikan-ten Bonsai Exhibition needs to take much care after the events. A Kuromatsu (Japanese black pine) which was shown in Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition last year is carried in Shunshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town. The tree is about 150 years old Yamadori whose hight is 65 centimeters and width is 90 centimeters. Koji Hiramatsu of this garden has taken care of it for 5 days.

Tighten With Wire

 As might be expected of a winning work of Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition, the tree has the rough bark of trunk, the natural curve, and the great atomosphere of old tree. The owner is Mr. Akihisa Saito in Kurashiki city. He is a fancier received the Minister of Education Award in Taikan-ten Bonsai Exhibiton in the last November.

 This masterpiece had made the cover of "Bonsai Shunju" published by Nippon Bonsai Association. About 10 months after the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibiton in the last February, it becomes raising and unkempt shape.

 Bonsai is growing so the shape changes over time. It is necessary to tighten trees for keeping the good shape.

 To recover the sharpness of the tree, Hiramatsu cut the unnecessary branches and tighten it with wire.

Hiramatsu wiring the masterpiece of Kuromatsu at Shunshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town

Careful Manual Work

 He made the curve of each branch using over 10 kinds of wires of different thickness. The careful manual work was repeated again and again. He kept doing the daunting task to put wires from thick branches of the bottom to thin ones. After completion, he said, "I paid attention not to damage the old tree's branches. In addition, it was a famous masterpiece in Japan so I felt a responsibility."

 The tree became 60 centimeters in height and 77 centimeters in width. He made the highly appreciated points in Kokufu Bonsai Exhibiton such as the big magnificent Nebari (visible roots of a tree), curved trunk, rough trunk surface, and organized needles to be seen well.

Tree before care (left) and after care

 This tree will be returned to the owner and has been cultivated for 4 or 5 years with wire. Then take the wire off when it begin to cut into the branches. This process make the masterpiece to be better.
(By Shigeo Hano)
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