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

Bear Future (3) Enjoy A Pot of Shohin

July 13, 2016

 Koji Hiramatsu, Hiramatsu Shunshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town, is the only director of All Nippon Shohin Bonsai Association in Shikoku. His bonsai was accepted for the 37th Nippon Bonsai Sakufu-ten exhibition of last December. The spirited artist served as a demonstrator in Asia-Pacific Bonsai and Suiseki Convention & Exhibition in Takamatsu emphasizes the future of Shohin bonsai.


Hiramatsu cleaning the Shari of a Chinese juniper at Hiramatsu Shunshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town
Hiramatsu cleaning the Shari of a Chinese juniper at Hiramatsu Shunshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town

Start Freely

 Shohin bonsai is easy to take care so women can enjoy it. You can take the small pot easily and change the place. It is stylish for interior display. Every Shohin is very pretty whose height is within 20 centimeters such as Shihaku (pine and juniper), Mimono (tree having fruits), Hanamono (tree having flowers), and Hamono (tree having leaves).

 It is hard to choose the good tables and species for the full-scale 3 or 7 trees' display shown in bonsai exhibitions. So it is better for beginners to enjoy the display of a tree. Hiramatsu says, "Please start Shohin with a favorite tree. While large bonsai has the powerful atmosphere, Shohin is small but has a presence. I hope many people understand the pleasure to take care and arrange their own Shohin." In addition, he recommends to do it freely.

7 trees' display accepted in the Sakufu Bonsai Exhibition (Owned by Mr. Minoru Yamada in Kagawa's Sanuki city)
7 trees' display accepted in the Sakufu Bonsai Exhibition (Owned by Mr. Minoru Yamada in Kagawa's Sanuki city)

Take Care Sensitively

 Shohin bonsai of Hanamono, Mimono, and Hamono have the great sense of seasons. There are Murasaki Shikibu (Japanese beautyberry), Pyracantha, and Tokiwagaki (Diospyros morrisiana) having fruits even in spring at Shunshoen bonsai garden. In addition, a Chojubai (Japanese quince) in the garden has the flowers. However it is said the fruits and flowers should be removed early for trees, they can be enjoyed longer if it is protected from frost.

Shohin of Murasaki Shikibu, Shinpaku (Chinese juniper), and Chojubai (from left)
Shohin of Murasaki Shikibu, Shinpaku (Chinese juniper), and Chojubai (from left)

 The important care of Shohin is watering in summer. The pots are small so be more careful and sensitive than the middle and large bonsai. In the case of the cultivation in an apartment, do not keep the tree inside a room and expose to the sun, and keep the well ventilation.

 Hiramatsu says,"All trees and flowers can be arranged to bonsai. It will be more fun to wire trees by myself."
(By Shigeo Hano)
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