8th World Bonsai Convention In Saitama City, Japan– Part 1

6P4A1532The 8th World Bonsai Convention is taking place on April 27-30, 2017 in Saitama City, Japan. Held every four years, the inaugural World Bonsai Convention was held in 1989 in the same city, Omiya (city name was changed.) There are 1,200 people registered from 40 foreign countries and it is expected that there will be 20,000 visitors during the four day event. I think most came yesterday because it was extremely difficult to see and photograph much. The event is being held in the huge Saitama Super Arena.






Personally, this exhibition is truly a sensory overload for me! I’ve seen numerous bonsai exhibition and a countless number of bonsai during my 55 year study of bonsai in North & South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Never, have I seen the quality and number of excellent bonsai in one location. This exhibition is far superior to a combination of the Kokufu and Taikan Bonsai Exhibitions in Japan. Truly, there has never been the quantity of award winning bonsai and “Important Bonsai Masterpieces” displayed in one venue, and that includes the special seven month long exhibit organized by the Nippon Bonsai Association for Expo ’70 the World’s Fair held in Osaka, Japan, in 1970.




Daphne genkwa



Seigen Japanese maple


Ukon Japanese maple


Burning bush, Euonymus alatus

I was actually walking around in a daze by late afternoon and needed to sit down and rest, even though there was NO pain with my new 13 week old knee. It is prohibitive to bring back bonsai to the United States due to USDA plant quarantine regulations, and I’m actually relieved, because I could actually walk past all the beautiful bonsai and spend more time studying the exhibition, while saving money too!





Lots of people trying to see the Imperial Japanese Red Pine Bonsai. Fortunately Photoshop helped here….


Additionally, there are continuous demonstrations by the top bonsai artists of Japan and foreign artists. PLUS, special exhibits from private bonsai collections, a display from the Imperial Bonsai and Container Collection, photographic displays of bonsai from around the world and how the art developed culturally, a special display of Saika Bonsai by the founder Kaori Yamada plus much more AND a bunch of rocks too. Actually, not a bunch of rocks: the Nippon Suiseki Association assembled the top 100 suiseki from throughout Japan. Additional posts will introduce these other displays and events once I recover…..