2015年10月18日日曜日

I will come to the 4th African Bonsai Convention!

Hello, I am Yuki, an owner of the Japanese bonsai pots online store YUKIMONO.

Autumn is the best season for bonsai exhibitions. From a small displaying event held by a few members of the local bonsai club to a large convention held by a national bonsai association, many bonsai exhibitions are held around the world. A lot of pictures of bonsai and people enjoying the exhibitions are flowing on my facebook feed presently.

The 4th African Bonsai Convention
I am also going to go to see or take part in bonsai exhibitions this month and next month.
One is the 4th African BonsaiConvention taking place in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, South Africa from 22 to 25 October 2015. I will go there with some members of the Japanese delegation promoting the 8th world bonsai convention in Saitama.
http://www.abc4.co.za/

It will be my first visit to Africa and I am so excited. The most curious thing for me and what I want to see is how the original African tree bonsai is. Will I be able to see the view of “Africa!” with bonsai? I also expect to see many trees that have never been seen in Japan. I am looking forward to having bonsai-chat with SA bonsai enthusiasts.

The local bonsai exhibition at Takao komagino garden
The second is the local bonsai exhibition held by bonsai enthusiasts and learners including me at Takao komagino garden from 1 to 4 November. I will take part in it with my red pine and I am really enjoying thinking about how I display it.


"L'umiere d'autimne" in Albi, France
The third is L'umiere d'autimne (“The light in autumn” bonsai exhibition) held in Albi, France from 21 to 22 November. 
http://lumieredautomne.fr/
The exhibition place, Albi looks very small and beautiful town. It has the history from B.C. Though I have been France twice, I have never seen bonsai there. It must be very impressive to take place the bonsai exhibition in such a wonderful place. Thankfully, the exhibition organizer allowed me to have a table at the trading place so that I will bring some Japanese bonsai pots to display.


I will post about both of exhibitions in detail later. 

 Thank you for reading YUKIMONO blog post!

How to go to Ueno Green Park?

Hello, I am Yuki, an owner of the Japanese bonsai pots online store YUKIMONO.

When you travel in Japan for the first time, and come to Tokyo, I’m sure you will be filled with expectation that you should be able to see a lot of beautiful bonsai, or go to the many bonsai related stores here and there. I would be sorry if I disappointed you, but you will struggle to find bonsai places or stores in Tokyo.

If you have time on the Saturday or Sunday of your trip, I recommend you visit Ueno green club, known for it’s bonsai exhibition gallery. It was built in 1992, and has some stalls selling nursery trees and bonsai tools in the open air (The stalls are opened almost on the Saturday or Sunday).

上野グリーンクラブ 〒110-0007 東京都台東区上野公園3-42

The closest railway station is Nezu on the Chiyoda subway line or Ueno on the JR line. The following is the way to go to the club from Ueno station through Shinobazu park. 
Now, let’s enjoy going there for a walk.

1. Get off the train at Uenostation and go out of Shinobazu gate. You should see a view like this.
 
2. Turn to the right and you will see a pedestrian crossing. Cross it.
3. Walk in the left direction. You will see some wide stairs to Ueno park, pass them.
4 Go down the stairs to Keisei Ueno Station.
5. Go straight and you should see more steps going up. Go up and go out of the station.
6. Cross the road, turn to the right and walk straight.
   When you see the entrance to the park on the left side, turn to the left.

8. You should see the approach to the temple. Walk to it.
9. Soon you will see the fish-shaped statue on the left. It is a memorial statue for globefish.
10. Go to the right and you will see a boarding point.
keep walking to the boarding point.
You will see these Koi almost out f water.
11. Turn to the right and walk to the exit of the park.
12. Go out of the park and turn to the right. Keep walking.
13. When you see this building, that’s Ueno green club. You have arrived.



 Thank you for reading YUKIMONO blog post!


2015年10月8日木曜日

What type of pot should NOT be chosen for a bonsai beginner?


Hello, I am Yuki, an owner of the Japanese bonsai pots online store YUKIMONO.

When I took part in a bonsai workshop for the first time, I put some plants in a small pot offered by the bonsai teacher. It was a round bonsai pot with a thin mouth, white glaze, and the size of just a tea cup. Though the pot was very simple, it beautifully matched the plants. Come to think of it, the teacher definitely chose the perfect pot for us, bonsai beginners, so that we could become interested in bonsai.
I remember that my first bonsai pot was like this.

 I would like to write about what bonsai pot would be good for the first time, however, it is too difficult to me, so I will tell you what type of pot should NOT be chosen for a beginner.

1. A pot that is too small or shallow
I suppose many people have the image that Bonsai is just made of a dwarf tree and a small pot, and beginners tend to push a plant that they just got from a gardening store, into a very small or shallow pot. I understand this because I have done it before (and sometimes still do it), however it is wrong. It is better to choose a pot with a little depth, to keep a plant in it for at least 1~2 years.
2. A pot that is artistic or decorative
The lotus-shaped pot, the crescent-shaped pot, the pot with the demon face, the pot with the cloud feet or the cat feet…...there are many cool bonsai pots and you might want to take one of them in your hand for the first time. But it is dangerous. The pot has a front and a back as well as a plant for bonsai. It is therefore highly difficult to balance both the pot and the plant with the front and back, and also find the best combination of them.


3. A pot that is very poor
For the first time, you don’t need to spend much money on a bonsai pot, however, you should avoid a poor pot or a pot that isn’t suitable for growing plants as follows.
It doesn’t have any drainage holes.
  Hopefully you wouldn’t substitute your favorite used coffee cup for a bonsai pot!
It is made of glass (because it does not breath well). You should also avoid pots made of porcelain
It is cracked and easily broken.
It is dirty and mold grows.


4. A pot drawn a colorful picture
Yes, I know a pot on which a picture is drawn with some colors is so pretty that you might want to pick it up as a special pot for celebrating the first time bonsai. But I don’t recommend it and the reason is similar to No.2. It is quite difficult to suitably match a pot drawn a picture on with plants. You must think about not only the shapes and sizes, but also the colors of the combination with the pot and the plants. So I think you should avoid such a situation for the first time doing bonsai.

All these examples I have written about come from personal experience, I have learned through my failures. Sometimes I still make mistakes when I choose a pot. Please take a look at the pots below, they are not too small, not too shallow, simple and beautiful. I think these pots are good for bonsai beginners.
 Above all however, the most important thing is to enjoy bonsai with the pot that you really like. So, don’t hesitate trying with your favorite pot and have a fun in the wonderful world of bonsai pots as I do!


Thank you very much for reading YUKIMONO post till the end!




2015年10月4日日曜日

What is the difference between bonsai and a potted plant?

Hello, I am Yuki, an owner of the Japanese bonsai pots online store YUKIMONO.

One day, I had an opportunity to see an old bonsai guidebook published in 1937. Though it was written by a bonsai master almost 80 years ago, it gave clearly a detailed description of What bonsai is. Sometimes I receive questions like “what’s bonsai?” or “what’s the difference between bonsai and a potted plant?”, and I never answer well. So let’s see how the old bonsai master in the book answers very basic but important questions.

Is bonsai just a small tree put in a small pot?
He says “Bonsai should be natural scenery expressed on a smaller scale with a tree and a pot. It also should be a beautiful art work expressed with complete harmony with a tree as a natural object and a pot as an artifact.” He also says “If you want to know the concept of bonsai specifically, you must understand the difference between bonsai and a potted planted.”

He explains the difference. “Do you think that it is bonsai which is just a small tree put in a small pot? Or do you think it is the potted plant which is a nursery tree put in a deep round planter? Both of them can not be answered yes. The potted plant should be cultivated for its blooms or leaves and Bonsai should be created to appreciate the natural scenery expressed with the beautiful shape of a tree and a bonsai pot.”
This plant is put in a bonsai pot.
Imagine a cactus in the desert area
Interpreting his words in my way, if you got a cactus from a flower shop, and tried to express a wild landscape with it, for example some desert area of Mexico or the US, and  also used a pot, it would be bonsai. On the other hand, if you just potted a cactus into a pot to enjoy its splinter or form, it would be just a potted plant.


Will a diorama also be bonsai?
As an old bonsai master says, if it is said that bonsai is natural scenery expressed on a smaller scale, can we say that a diorama made with small plants in a pot will also be bonsai? The old master in the book answers this, No.
“Bonsai is fundamentally different from a diorama. As natural scenery expressed on a smaller scale, there is Bonkei (盆景) derived from the Chinese term “Pengjing,” however, Bonkei is just a thing made by copying natural scenery with natural materials artificially.”

He continues as follows. “As bonsai is a work of art, it is quite obvious that bonsai is an artificial thing, however, the role of the artificiality in bonsai must be the help for nature. Therefore, don’t leave anything man-made on bonsai and those vulgar artificialities should be done away with bonsai.”


Being aware of just what bonsai is makes  your bonsai work improve
Sometimes I am asked by people critically if bonsai is cruelty towards plants. They think that potting a tree in a bonsai pot, which would grow up to be a big tree in nature, and keeping it small is therefore contrary to nature. I wondered how the old master would counter this question.
He says “These are said by whom doesn’t understand what exactly bonsai is. It is the figure which plants fit and live naturally. Plants have the property to be going to live anywhere given environment with limited soil and nourishment.”

The master in the book tells us over and over it should be that one bonsai with a tree and a pot expresses a beautiful landscape. Now, 80 years later, Japanese natural and social environments have drastically changed and it is difficult to truly understand his words without great efforts, however, being aware of just what bonsai is is very important to improve our bonsai works.
  
Thank you very much for reading this post till the end!
http://yukimono.com/