The 8th World Bonsai Convention will take place on April 27-30, 2017 in Saitama City, Japan. Saitama City is the new name for Omiya, famous for high quality bonsai gardens. This promises to be the finest and largest bonsai convention to date, anywhere. The World Bonsai Friendship Federation has been holding conventions since 1989, the first in Japan. Since then the convention held every four years has been held in the United States, Korea, Europe and Puerto Rico.
Top Japanese bonsai artists will be demonstrating including: Masahiko Kimura, Hiroshi Takeyama, Kunio Kobayashi, Shinji Suzuki, Minoru Akiyama, Shigeo Isobe, Chikaru Imai, Taiga Urushibata, Kenji Oshima, Isao Omachi, Takashi Sakurai, Masayuji Fujikawa and Mitsuo Matsuda. Additionally international bonsai artists from each region of the World Bonsai Friendship Federation will also demonstrate: Werner Bush, Hannes Fritz, Jyoti & Ninkunj Parekh, Zao Quingquan, Mike Siow, Lindsay Bebb, Bjorn Bjorholm and Juan Andrade. That’s a lot of demonstrating artists, probably the best line up ever.
Of course there will be an exhibit: The Greatest Bonsai & Suiseki Exhibit, featuring the best bonsai and Suiseki. I’ve seen a preliminary layout and this exhibit should be superb. I hope they allow photos.
The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum of Saitama City will be one of the featured sub venues of the convention. It houses many bonsai masterpieces of the highest quality and many are the best of their species in Japan. All signs are in Japanese and English and there is even an English headphone available. Special educational exhibits, which interest me especially, are held in a gallery.
Springtime is my favorite season in Japan, although autumn is a close second. Having lived in Omiya Bonsai Village during my apprenticeship, this is the place to be to appreciate and study fine quality classical bonsai. Each of the six main bonsai gardens has a different atmosphere reflecting the artist’s taste and bonsai specialty.
There are just less than 100 days to the Opening Ceremony of the 8th World Bonsai Convention in Saitama City, Japan. The US/Japan exchange rate is excellent now and I’ve seen quite a few airfare sales too. Although I’ve been to Japan before, (stopped counting at 50 trips many years ago) and will be going again in a couple of weeks for the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition, I’m quite excited about the World Bonsai Convention. I’m familiar about Japanese hospitality and organization and when combined with some of the finest bonsai and suiseki in the world promises to be an exciting experience. Kora Dalager’s and my tour has been filled for months, actually over subscribed with 24 participants from England, Australia and the United States.
Hatsuji Kato, Executive Director for the World Bonsai Convention
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