Serialized Essay

Artists in the limelight, up-and-coming young people – these and others who are capturing attention on the world stage report on the latest in their activity in this essay.

2017.10.19New

Vol. 9 A Visit to the Forest in Search of Nature's Beauty

I took a trip to Ozegahara in late September, reaching the famous, vast wetlands after climbing a mountain trail for around one hour in the crisp, clear air. There is a special sense of closeness to nature that comes from encounters with the many trees and plants that live there. Autumn is the season for hiking in the mountains, and it is worth the effort to go and experience the beautiful multi-colored scenery of the autumn leaves and berries.

2017.9.20

Vol. 8 The Joys of Viewing Bonsai in Autumn

In late September, bonsai aficionados begin preparing the bonsai trees they have been raising lovingly for their moment in the sun at the autumn exhibits. They spare no effort, trimming back overly spindly branches and supporting irregular branches with wires in anticipation of the valuable opportunity to display their trees to the local community and other aficionados.

2017.8.25

Vol. 7 Please Come and Join Me at a Bonsai Workshop!

Summer is the season for events. It is a time of excitement, a time to free the spirit. But for bonsai, a summer that is too hot can create an environment which is difficult to bear. In my work with plants, the climate each year and the state of the plants are recorded as memories in my mind. I recall that one summer when there was little rain, or the springtime when needles of five-needle pine grew long because of too much rain. And there were times when the second budding of black pines (which occurs after the first buds are pruned) was slow, or fast.

2017.7.21

Vol. 6 Why Not Keep Cool with Bonsai this Summer?

I always thought my body was resistant t...

2017.6.20

Vol. 5 How to Appreciate Bonsai

June is the time to prune the buds of Japanese red and black pine. The new buds that have grown vigorously since spring are snipped at the border with pine needles from the previous year to encourage more new buds. Through this approach, new buds and pine needles are shaped to keep them at a length that is less than half the normal size. The length of the pine needles is very important in bonsai because the desired effect is to evoke the impression of a much larger tree.

2017.5.16

Vol. 4 Experience "Skill in the Pursuit of Beauty" at Bonsai Exhibitions

Last month, the 8th World Bonsai Convention, Saitama City was held over three days, visited by approximately 45,000 people. The event is held once every four years. This year's edition attracted both men and women of all ages.
The venue bustled with the crowd, which was more than double the size predicted. But I imagine the hosts were jumping with joy over the fact that the number of visitors to this convention, the first to be held in Japan in 28 years, far exceeded their initial expectations, and it can be said that this year's World Bonsai Convention was a resounding success.

2017.4.20

Vol. 3 Creation, Care, and Appreciation are the Three Joys of Bonsai

April is the time for replanting, and nipping buds from bonsai plants. For example, as new leaves begin to grow on a maple tree, two leaves will begin growing together, and then a third will start growing between them. This fresh bud is what I nip.
Seeing the tree start to break buds is a moment of realization of the tree's powerful life force.

2017.3.21

Vol. 2 People are Fascinated by Bonsai for the Same Reasons throughout the World

Today, countless superb works of bonsai are being created around the world due to growing knowledge and skill, and the availability of materials, and I am often stimulated by the shaping applied and the ways it is exhibited.

2017.2.20

Vol. 1 A Path for a Bonsai Master Opened through Passion and Energy Alone

Hello, my name is Takahiro Mori. I live in a small traditional Japanese home and work as a bonsai master. A bonsai master is a craftsperson primarily engaged in the maintenance of bonsai owned by aficionados and other bonsai masters. This is a rare occupation, and you might be lucky to find even one person doing it in your town. Here I will write an essay that covers my experiences as a bonsai master. I hope that through reading this, you will develop an interest in the world of bonsai that is once again growing in popularity.

2017.1.23

A New Series of Essays by Internationally Active Bonsai Master on the Traditional Culture of Bonsai

Bonsai is the art of replicating the aesthetic beauty of trees in their natural form in a pot. As part of Japan's traditional cultural heritage, bonsai has transcended national borders and is loved and appreciated around the globe, as attested by the large number of bonsai enthusiasts from various countries who gather at the World Bonsai Convention held once every four years. The art of bonsai has captured the imagination of people from all over the world, but what is the secret of its appeal? In this series of essays, Takahiro Mori, a bonsai master who is working to promote this ancient art not only in Japan, but in America and Europe as well, will share various ways to appreciate and enjoy bonsai.

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