A few days ago our group visited Uchiku-Tei Bonsai Garden at S-Cube in Hanyu, north of Omiya. This is the headquarters of Seiji Morimae, a professional bonsai artist who specializes in high quality bonsai, suiseki, antiques and display.
A few hours earlier he returned home bringing six truck loads of bonsai, suiseki, display tables and more from the 8th World Bonsai Convention. By the time we arrived early on Monday morning everything was unloaded and all the bonsai were watered. Mr. Morimae is the chief director of the Nippon Suiseki Association and designed their display at the World Bonsai Convention.
He can trace his family back to 500 years of gardeners and horticulturists. His family and staff made us all feel welcome which delayed our next stop to Masahiko Kimura over one hour late. Our group always loves to shop at his garden because of the excellent quality of items for sale, and at great prices too!
He has well over 3,000 bonsai plus suiseki, antique containers and other art. He always has something different to enthusiastically show our group. This year was no exception. A few years after Daizo Iwasaki’s passing Mr. Morimae purchased over 1,000 bonsai from the Iwasaki Collection. Three of which he donated to the US National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC.
This year he told us he also purchased most of Mr. Iwasaki’s large trained specimen garden trees, stones and more. Many of these large garden trees are at his garden in Hanyu and somewhere else where they will be planted at a new bonsai museum he is building in Kyoto. He showed us a few of the large garden pines which are now planted in huge wooden boxes. Some of these trained garden pines are valued at $750,000.
Collected Japanese red pine from Korea in Mr. Iwasaki’s Takasago-an garden several years ago.
The same ancient Japanese red pine in Mr. Kato’s garden
Numerous old collected Japanese red pines from Korea were featured in Mr. Iwasaki’s garden “Takasago-an.” I remember one spectacular specimen in the garden well and saw it in Mr. Kato’s Mansei-en Bonsai Garden in Omiya Bonsai Village, now in a large wooden box. I wonder where it will end up… and also which country too.