The Ueno Green Club is the headquarters for the Nippon Bonsai Cooperative a long time professional bonsai organization organized in 1931. The organization is a business corporation and members must be approved and pay a hefty entry fee, plus annual dues. Twenty one years ago there were over 500 members. Today the membership is approximately 250.
Nippon BonaI Association Building
Twenty one years ago the Nippon Bonsai Cooperative built a three story building in the center area and removed the long buildings. Then a more modern building was constructed on the left side. The building is owned by the Nippon Bonsai Cooperative, but the land is leased. There is a close relationship with the Nippon Bonsai Association, a non-profit organization established in the early 1960s which was first established as the Kokufu Bonsai Society in 1934. Their headquarter building is located diagonally across the street from the Ueno Green Club. About a half block away is the headquarters for the Nippon Satsuki Association.
Outdoor sales area during Kokufu Bonsai Exhibitions
Located next to the Ueno Zoo on a corner lot the land actually belongs to a government organization and the corporation has a long term lease. The area was originally called the “Bonsai Club” and is used for auctions, meetings, exhibitions and selecting trees for shows. Originally there were long buildings around an open area where indoor activities were held. The open area in the center had tables for sales and displaying bonsai.
Since the Nippon Bonsai Association and Nippon Bonsai Cooperative work closely together and membership overlaps, it is a bit difficult to distinguish their differences. However, one organization is a for profit professional corporation and the other is a non-profit association. The Nippon Bonsai Association rents the Ueno Green Club for three days each January from the Nippon Bonsai Cooperative for judging and photographing bonsai for the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition.
The Ueno Green Club building is a modern three story building with very thick walls for earthquake protection. There are elevators which make moving large bonsai for exhibitions, auctions and sales easy. Each floor has been deigned to be partitioned to create individual rooms for meetings, judging, sales and bonsai displays.
SELECTING BONSAI FOR AWARDS AND EXHIBITIONS
PHOTOGRAPHING BONSAI FOR PUBLICATIONS
SALES DURING THE 2015 KOKUFU BONSAI EXHIBITION
Yukio Murata, Kyuka-en Bonsai Garden just purchased young Trident maple seedlings for future masterpiece bonsai using Masakuni Tools
Peter Warren helped Minoru Akiyama, a graduate apprentice of Kunio Kobayashi, and his son in law, with this sales area. A large suiseki was sold which was in a wooden storage box with the owner’s name. The new client did not want the previous owner’s name on the box so Peter began to erase the inked name. It was taking considerable effort and someone suggested he use a power tool to sand off the name. Great idea, it worked!
Osamu Fukudata, another graduate apprentice of Kunio Kobayashi watches.
Most foreigners are familiar with the Ueno Green Club as only a sales area during the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition, but it is indeed much more.