Curved trunk, 700 years, 28 inchs (70 cm)
This ezo-matsu, with its aged, distinguished-looking trunk, is well known in bonsai circles. Particularly striking are the massiveness of the tree's foot and the sense of strength in the trunk, while the majesty of the form as a whole typifies the very best in ezo-matsu bonsai.
The shape of this old tree-which, before becoming a bonsai, endured the rigors of hundreds of winters on the island of Kunashiri,off the northern coast of Hokkaido-is a fine example of "art in nature."
Momiji Acer palmatum
Curved trunk , 50 Year, 19 inches (48 cm)
Twin trunk, 500 years, 30 inchs (75 cm)
Curved trunk,50 years,30 inchs (75 cm)
At the time when this tree was first found in nature, the number of varieties of urume-tsutsuji was a mere six, but by now improvements have increased this figure to over twenty. This particular tree is of a variety known as Miyagino; it has bright crimson flowers, and came originally from Kagoshima Prefecture in southern Kyushu. At thattime, it had only a few slender branches, while the two trunks parted company near the top of the tree and were too long, so the length of the latter was reduced by one-half and they were divided farther down the middle. Today, the harmony between the two trunks, the root spread, and the stable rise of the trunk are all first-rate, while the well-balanced disposition of the branches is subtly satisfying.
Curved trunk, 130 years, 30 inchs (75 cm)dose relative of the Ohamabo and a member of the same hollyhock family, well known on the islands of Okinawa, Miyako-jima, and Ishigaki-jima under the dialectal name of yuna, this species is articularly beautiful in summer, when it puts out a succession of large yellow blooms from the tips of its branches. It is easy to grow as a bonsai since it stands up to high temperatures well and buds profusely.There are many specimens in the Okinawa area, and that shown here Is outstanding among them. When it was displayed at the Fifty-second Kokufuten exhibition in 1978, it afforded distinguished proof of the high level of bonsai in Okinawa. Since then it has shown further, astonishing improvement. The trunk has acquired still more of the aged air characteristic of the species, and the fine ramification of the branches has become even more subtle.
|Hime-mosochiku (a type of bamboo)
Phyllostachys heterocycla var. pubescens
Natural, 5 years, 29 inchs (74 cm)
It is only very recently that bamboo has begun to be used for bonsai, although various species were cultivated in the Meiji and Taisho eras for planting alongside the main tree of a bonsai. The bamboo used here is the hime- (dwarf) mosochiku; even so, to keep it down to this eight without allowing the trunks to thicken must have required extraordinary skill. To achieve this effect, a bamboo rhizome is laid along the soil; then, once the shoots start to appear, one layer of skin is stripped off them every morning before the dew dries, so as to prevent the distance between the joints from lengthening. Even after the branches have begun to grow, their length has to be kept in check by constant pinching out of the buds. The slender, flexible group of trunks and the fronds of leaves rustling in the breeze have a poetic atmosphere unique to bamboo. The total effect is further enhanced by the moss-covered rock on which the trees are planted-a piece of naturally occurring Kurama stone.
(a type holly) Ilex serrata
Triple trunk 100 years, 26 inches(65 cm)
The special qualities of the ume-modoki make it particularly suitable for cultivation in the clump style, the specimen shown here achieving an outstanding overall beauty of form and a good appearance of age.
All three trunks describe extremely natural-looking curves while maintaining an excellent harmony as a group. The two larger trunks convey a pleasing suggestion of a married couple watching protectively over their child, the smallest trunk that peers out at the lower right. The clusters of berries further enhance the gentle elegance of this bonsai creation.
Kome tsuga Tsuga diversifolia
Clump 180 years 34 inches (85 cm)
This tree is said to have grown originally in the mountainous district of Wakayama Prefecture, at which time it probably had more trunks
than it does now; this is still suggested, in fact, by the close complexity of the foot of the tree, which affords a major point of interest.
There is distinction and gentle elegance in the weathered bark of the trunk; in the regular groupings of the branches; and in the balance between the main and subsidiary trunks. All in all, it is a most valuable specimen of the clump-style kometsuga.
Iwashide (a type of hornbeam)
The iwashide is a small deciduous tree found growing on certain cliffs and similar places on Shodo Island and those parts of Honshu,Shikoku, and Kyushu lying farther to the west. In the past, large numbers of dwarf specimens found growing on the Korean peninsula were made into bonsai, and this specimen is believed to be one of them. The tree's great age is apparent in the black vertical markings already visible on the grayish brown trunk. It is unsurpassed amongiwashide bonsai and enjoys an enormous reputation in bonsai circles.Everything, from the base to the uppermost branches, proclaims it an ancient tree that has endured centuries of struggle with an uncompromising natural environment. The subsidiary trunk that has formed on the right is most effective in pulling together the composition of the tree as a whole.
|Japanese black pine Kuroma tsu
Curved trunk 150 years 26 inches (65 cm)
A kuromatsu bonsai from Mikawa, near Nagoya, celebrated as a source of naturally occurring dwarf trees, this specimen has been steadily improved artistically at the hands of a succession of bonsai experts. The splendid strength with which the stout trunk rises from the earth, and the weathering of its bark into a kind of tortoiseshell pattern of cracks, convey superbly the feeling of a time-honored oldtree. The gentle curves of the trunk harbor a rare sense of strength:one might fancy it a dragon climbing up to the heavens. The grouping of the foliage and the disposition of the branches are beyond reproach.
Curved trunk 75 years 30 inches (75 cm)
The kamatsuka is a small tree or shrub of
the rose family found growing in the Japanese countryside. It has a fairly long
history as a subject for bonsai cultivation. In spring, it produces dense
masses ofwhite flowers at the ends of its branches
and, in autumn, red, egg-shaped berries. The autumn foliage is also attractive,
the leaves turning yellow and red in patches before becoming a uniform bright
Curved trunk 50 years 23 inches (58 cm)
The wisteria has a long history of cultivation in Japan; the wisteria arbor is a familiar feature of Japanese parks and gardens, and the flowers make their appearance over and over again in traditional design, literature, and so on. The tree shown here has a characteristically feminine grace that calls to mind a Japanese dancer with a fan performing the classical fuji-musume ("wisteria maiden") dance. The root system, the curves of the trunk, and the disposition of the branches are all remarkably well proportioned for this species.
|Japanese white pine
Goyomatsu Pinus parviflora
Semi-cascade 350 years , 34 inches (85 cm)
This is tree has an elegance of a kind that could only be achieved with a goyo-matsu. The beautiful balance achieved between the two trunks as they lean to the right embodies natural beauty at its most exquisite,and the total effect is given added character by the powerful root system that supports them. The purplish-brown earthenware container is a good choice, complementing perfectly the sedate dignity of tha old tree itself.
|Sargent juniper Shimpaku
Twin trunk 300 years 30 inches（75cm）
This tree is said to have been discovered near the Itoi River in central Honshu sometime during the Taishoera. The subtle effect created by the deadwood trunks rising from the roots in twin-trunk style could never have been achieved artificially. The tree will appeal to the newcomer to bonsai as much as to the expert. It induces the peculiar sense of awe that can come from an aged tree，and its outstanding worth will ensure that it will continue to receive loving care，and to give pleasure，for long years to come.