30th Anniversary Kokubunji Bonsai Green Festival
The 30th anniversary of the Kokubunji Bonsai Green Festival is being held on October 20-22, 2017, in the town of Kokubunji. This is one of the two bonsai production towns or areas of Takamatsu. The other bonsai area is Kinashi, more on that festival in a future blog.
Hiro Yamaji and Koji Hiramatsu are the main organizers and leaders of this large and important festival which attracts thousands of bonsai hobbyists. The exhibition is comprised of both armature, professional and invited bonsai.
I was honored to participate in the Opening Ceremony and Ribbon Cutting, yes, complete with white gloves standing on a red carpet. Sound familiar? They also had a Taiko Drum Presentation, which is missing and will not be part of our US National Bonsai Exhibitions… .
Mr. Saito, a bonsai collector from Okayama and Director of the Nippon Bonsai Association had a special exhibit of seven of his finest masterpieces on display. They were magnificent and all have been displayed in past Kokufu Bonsai Exhibitions, many award winning. I’m quite familiar with many of these bonsai and am including old photographs of their true naked beauty from past shows.
Kiyo Hime Japanese maple in a deep container. If you are wondering where that beautiful blue glazed antique is, look at the image of the Chinese quince. That’s a famous container often appearing in both the Kokufu and Taikan Bonsai Exhibitions.
Mr. Saito also has large special displays at the November Taikan Bonsai Exhibitions which have themes. In the past he has exhibited several masterpiece Japanese maples, Korean Hornbeam, Hinoki cypress, Chinese quince and many others. Kenji Oshima is the curator of his collection. Next month he will display Pomegranates.
This cut leaf Japanese maple has excellent trunk taper which is hidden this season. I’ll have to return during the winter season to enjoy its naked beauty. But, I really don’t need a reason to return to Japan.
The sales area was hopping with sales. It seemed that mostly shohin bonsai were for sale and blossoming companion plants were popular with the lady visitors.
All the bonsai were beautiful, especially a special display featuring “Creative Displays,” which I’m certain will interest Westerner who want to express individually, or something different than classical Japanese bonsai. That’s a hot topic which I don’t have the time to discuss here and now.
Watch for my article in a future issue of International BONSAI, and visit Discover Shikoku!