An important part of any bonsai exhibition around the world is the sales or vendor area. Most people visit to see and enjoy the trees, but they eventually end up in the sales area purchasing something for their collection. Even here in Japan I watch every year as people enter the Nippon Bonsai Taikan Exhibition and rush to the sales area in the back. Although most are foreigners, the others, especially Chinese are eager to buy. Vendors are a most important part of bonsai exhibitions; however, they rarely receive the recognition they deserve for bringing in the visitors.
Seiji Morimae, proprietor of S-Cube is a driving force of both the bonsai and suiseki communities in Japan. He can trace his ancestors 500 years back to the landscape and horticulture industry. Although primarily dealing with high end masterpiece bonsai he also has reasonably priced items, something for everyone. Mr. Morimae is eager to help foreigners better understand bonsai, suiseki as well as the art of bonsai display.
Each year he always has the largest sales area in the Nippon Bonsai Taikan Exhibitions and people flock to his displays, especially foreigners. This years his display gallery featured five masterpiece bonsai and two collections of containers. Several of the bonsai for sale are creations by Masahiko Kimura. This year, however, two Sargent juniper bonsai which Mr. Morimae personally branch grafted were displayed, and one was sold on Saturday afternoon. His other bonsai probably sold as well on Sunday or Monday.
Sargent juniper created by Shinji Suzuki which has won numerous awards and has been popular in exhibitions and print. The red tapes on the signs indicate the item has been sold. Sold US$180,000.
Japanese black pine shaped by Masahiko Kimura. Sold US$30,000.
Sargent juniper grafted by Seiji Morimae 18 years ago. Sold US$350,000. Mr. Funayama just added a new bonsai to his collection.
Sargent juniper shaped by Shino Kentaru. Sold US$58,000.
Sargent juniper grafted by Seiji Morimae 18 years ago. Not sold yet… US$230,000.
A collection of antique containers was individually sold.
This collection of 50 Tofukuji containers were sold as a set.
Across the aisle, S-Cube had another long sales table full of bonsai, containers, display tables and suiseki.
Unfortunately for visitors to future Nippon Bonsai Taikan Exhibitions, Mr. Morimae will not be having a gallery sales area, this is his last. Next year he will be opening a bonsai garden in a famous temple complex. I look forward to seeing what kind of magic and surprises he will come up with.
The sales area is huge!
Anything you could ever want, perhaps not afford, can probably be found in this sales area. Inexpensive pots, antique containers, tools, supplies, display tables, hanging scrolls, suiseki, antiques, pre-bonsai, masterpiece specimens and publications are all here for sale.
Gerald Rainville selling bonsai for his teacher Koji Hiramatsu. Both of these artists will be judges and demonstrators at the upcoming 2020 7th US National Bonsai Exhibition on September 12-13, 2020 in Rochester, New York.