FuGa Bonsai Exhibition
Usually our tours enjoy unexpected surprises. One of the additional unscheduled visits this time was to the FuGa Bonsai Exhibition sponsored by S-Cube, Seiji Morimae’s business. This elegant exhibition of fine quality bonsai was in the Kanuma City Kaboku Center complex, up at the top of a small hill, more stairs, in a specially built exhibition building by the Tochigi Prefecture.
Everything Mr. Morimae does is beautiful and with class, including this bonsai exhibition of his study group and clients. There were five long rows of individual alcove areas with plain backgrounds. Unlike all the other Satsuki exhibitions, most individual displays had hanging scrolls and companion plantings. This was a formal bonsai exhibition, complete with a pleasant mix of classical music, not the Japanese type Americans use in shows.
Mr. Morimae’s entire family and staff were on hand to make visitors feel welcome, guide them around, answer questions and make sales. The center of the building had two areas of fine quality bonsai, display tables, companion plantings and art for sale. Also there was another table with quality display tables and books for sale as well.
Seasonality is of paramount importance in Japanese style display. Included in the formal displays were a planting of young rice plants displayed by Mr. Morimae’s daughter who speaks English and numerous early summer flowering perennials. Several blooming Hydrangea were shown as were a few suiseki. Mr. Morimae answered all of our questions and pointed out a special waterfall suiseki. It was previously owned by Kyuzo Murata, one of my teachers and after the war it was in the collection of Saburo Kato. A hanging scroll with calligraphy was used along with a small bronze boat figurine. It’s interesting that he had an explanation of the calligraphy and display on the exhibit label. Many Japanese find it difficult to understand or translate the calligraphy used in scrolls for bonsai display. The calligraphy is hand drawn with elegant style and often includes poetry. Mr. Morimae knows this and it was quite considerable of him to provide the explanation. His daughter translated it for us, but we got the general idea directly from Mr. Morimae.
This is the 4th FuGa Bonsai Exhibition and I’ve featured them in past issues of International BONSAI. Of course, formal, better photos will be in future issues as well. So if you want to see professional photos complete with informative captions you will need to subscribe, and you can easily do this at: