The 10th Japan Suiseki Exhibition was held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Ueno Park, Tokyo, on February 14-18, 2023. This is the same venue as the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition, but in a different gallery on the 2nd floor. Kunio Kobayashi and Seiji Morimae head up the Nippon Suiseki Association.
It was Toshio’s (Norio) Kobayashi’s (no relation to Kunio Kobayashi,) dream to elevate the art of bonsai by having an exhibition in an art museum. He succeeded, and in 1934, with the assistance of Count Matsudaira, a now annual exhibition of miniature trees can be enjoyed. Toshio Kobayashi was a pioneer in bonsai promotion and published the monthly Bonsai magazine for 518 issues. This year marks the 97TH edition of the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition. For a couple of decades, the exhibition was held twice a year, but changed to an annual event in 1960.
Exhibited by Ronald C. Maggio III
Displayed by Ronald C. Maggio
I found it interesting that in 1934 museum officials did not originally want to display bonsai because they were “dirty” with soil and “smelly” from organic fertilizers. That was the main reason soil needed to be 100% covered in green moss. The bonsai exhibition is now held on the bottom levels of the current art museum with ceramic floor tiles. The suiseki exhibition is held in a 2nd floor gallery which is carpet covered. No water is allowed in this exhibition room which is the reason why water is not included in the water basin displays of suiseki, the traditional and formal way of appreciating suiseki. Also, that’s why there are no accessory plantings displayed with the stones.
2023 10th Japan Suiseki Exhibition Statistics
8 Featured Entries
32 Alcove Displays
1 Guest Entry- Hosokawa School of Bonseki “Surging Sea”
78 General Exhibits
22 International General Exhibits from:
Kunio Kobayashi and Seiji Morimae both have fine taste and the drive to promote and elevate both the arts of suiseki and bonsai. They have dedicated their lives to these arts and endlessly work year around and all day long for their passion.
Hosokawa School of Bonkei “Surging Sea”