2020 94th Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition Part 3


Part 2 of the 2020 94th Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition opened this morning at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. For the first several hours it seemed as though there were more foreigners than Japanese visitors. A great number of Americans, Italians, German, French, Australians and more were among the first to appreciate some of the finest quality bonsai in Japan. The crowd quickly thinned out after lunchtime.





Japanese oak





Firethorn, Pyracantha


Personally, I liked the bonsai in Part 2 better than those displayed in Part 1, but those were equally beautiful. I noticed a great number of containers made by Gyozan, so I counted all of them. Mr. Yukizyuou Nakano (Gyozan) specializes in large unglazed containers, but also hand makes smaller and glazed pots too. Mrs. Nakano is a talented artist as well and often hand paints scenes on containers her husband makes. There were 96 large bonsai displayed in the main gallery and 10 were planted in Gyozan containers which equates to 11% of the large bonsai in the main gallery were made by Gyozan.


Peach, NOT Japanese flowering apricot

I saw a Peach bonsai displayed as well as a spectacular large cascade Rose which won a Kokufu Award. I found it quite interesting that it was in the same exact position (No. 95) as the magnificent cascade award winning Magnolia displayed last year. In fact, they were both displayed on root stands, but of different sizes and heights.


Here is the data from Part 2 of the exhibition:

151 Exhibit Areas

106 Large Bonsai

39 Chuhin (Medium) Compositions (82 pcs.)

7 Shohin Compositions (52 pcs.)

(1 Shohin Composition was actually a “Mini” bonsai display with 10 trees)

Total Displayed Bonsai, Approximately 240


4 Kokufu Prizes

Kokufu Bonsai Award Japanese five-needle pine



Kokufu Bonsai prize Chojubai Japanese flowering quince



Kokufu Bonsai Award Hinoki cypress. This is the true species, not the commonly available dwarf cultivar.


Kokufu Bonsai Award Japanese rose




2019 Kokufu Bonsai Award Magnolia. This cascade style bonsai displayed on a carved root stand was in the same location as the Kokufu Bonsai Award Rose displayed this year.


19 Kicho (Important Bonsai Masterpieces)

7 Special Exhibits

1 Suiseki special exhibit, but four bonsai compositions included a suiseki



One of the special exhibits was especially interesting, and at first glance looks like an unkempt off color Japanese five-needle pine. Actually, this historic bonsai is a Deodor cedar, Cedrus deodara which is extremely rare to see trained for bonsai. The Deodar cedar is, however, commonly used in Japan as garden trees or fencing. This bonsai is from the famous Keiunan Bonsai Collection of Mr. Tanaka. The bonsai was once owned by Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida who was a bonsai collector.






More photos of beautiful bonsai to come.

Leave a Reply