On our journey to Tokoname, we visited Kunio Kobayashi’s Shunka-en Bonsai Museum in Tokyo. It’s been a few years since I last visited his museum and can’t believe he has even more larger bonsai than before. However, each was meticulously manicured and beautiful as well.
I noticed a great number of Japanese maples which were being approached and thread grafted. The Chinese want maples with red leaves, so they are changing the maples from the common Japanese maple, Acer palmatum to the cultivar “Deshojo” which has scarlet spring new growth. Sometimes the red foliage lasts through the summer. I was surprised they did not use “Seigen,” “Chisio,” and “Beni Chidori,” which all lead out red in spring. Perhaps Deshojo is a more vigorous grower and easy to cultivate. I also saw many such maples being grafted at Seiji Morimae’s S-Cube garden in Hanyu. I’m going to watch these trees develop in November when will be bringing a few people to visit Taikan Bonsai Exhibition.
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