Apologies for my blogging absence…
I was in Japan for half of February, and will post a few photos from that shortly. Technical problems abound… I used my iPhone for most of the image-making. Unknown at the time, my computer is so old that it will not accept images from the iPhone. And one of the quirks of the iPhone is that you can’t upload images to WordPress. Urg. Eventually I will offer some photos.
This year’s Kokufu was better than the last few years. The Kokufu along with most other bonsai shows in Japan have been in decline for 15 years. The quality of the trees is lower because fewer trees are being entered. In the past only 30% of the trees were accepted; now 70% acceptance is common. Of course the show is still impressive, and worth seeing. A large ‘Shishigashira’ Japanese maple won a Kokufu prize for a client of Shinji Suzuki’s.
After a couple days in Tokyo to see the show and the sales area, I worked in Obuse for Mr. Suzuki wiring trees for about 11 days.
Matt Reel is in his sixth year there, and he will be back in about a year. If he finishes the next year he will be the longest staying American apprentice, finishing up at about 6.7 years. His work has made major strides in the last couple of years, and I’m going to be happy to have him back here in Portland. I need help lifting things… no, kidding, he’s a super fellow and I will enjoy his company and enthusiasm. He will also be looking for client work, so if you want some high caliber work on your trees, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with him.
And there is a newcomer— Tyler Sherrod from North Carolina is finishing his first year at Suzuki’s. He’s also looking at 5+ years. Tyler is a wonderful solid guy and a hard worker. He fits in well there, and it was nice to spend some time with him. I’ll post on his progress in future years—
More later, following some technical overhaul!