Archive for February, 2014

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Last weekend, for two day’s a local club called Kihachi Kai, put on an exhibit of their tree’s at the Shinpakuji Temple. The group was founded by the late Kamiya-San (one of our senpai’s, Boon’s Oyakata). When he passed away it was taken over by my Oyakata. We were there to help out setup and break down the next day. I had a short time frame to whip round and take a few pics.

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As well the local club exhibition tree’s, some of the private collection of the head priest (Oomura-San) was on display, as it always is. Here are some of the tree’s on display outside.

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The collection includes two Kokufu winner’s (A white pine and a Chinese quince) and Oomura-San has exhibited at Kokufu for the last 20 years.

Thanks for reading.

Since coming back from Kokufu for a few days ago, it is now my turn to stay here on my tod, to hold the fort whilst the other apprentices set up the second half of Kokufu exhibition.
This morning I woke up to a snow-covered Aichi-en and still snowing.

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Being as it is a Saturday the kids are home with friends. They seemed to me to be constructing snow and grit Bolder’s for me to finally meet my maker when I try to leave the workshop this evening, in the dark.

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As it turns out they were making a snowman of sorts.

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Now somehow, I need to find a pine that needs plucking and thaw it out (Wish me luck).

On a final thought I will be thinking of Kokufu at the green club as I guess the snow is probably their and worse if anything. I will especially be thinking of a Mr Peter Warren on Akiyama San’s Baiten, no doubt feeling the cold and trying to keep the snow off the tree’s whilst trying to sell stuff. I’m sure he will be blogging about it shortly with his Kokufu live.
Fortunately for Oyakata and the apprentices our Sales area is just inside the green club.

Thanks for reading.

Onwards and upwards!

On my return to Japan we have been pretty busy with the past Meifu-ten and The impending Kokufu-ten. Mostly the work has been styling/wiring with the occasional black pine/kuromatsu needle pulling.

I thought I would share a few of tree’s that I have recently wired and they are all black pines.

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This is a kifu sized black pine.
I didn’t get round to taking a before picture, I should have done because it wasn’t a bad transformation. The tree was very dense, I pulled all the old needles and thinned out a fair bit before wiring.

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Another tree I did was this shohin black pine. Again unfortunately I didn’t get round to taking a before pic. This also was a bit of refinement work for sales.
It is looking a bit yellow here but, has greened up since coming out of the cold for a while.

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This is a Kuro is a variety called kotobuki. I have seen these back home and they are known for having very small needle length. In recent years they have risen in price as the Chinese market (with their recent wealth) finds them very desirable.
I believe the origin of the variety was discovered in Takamatsu’s Kokubunji town in the 1970’s by taking a bud and grafting. The variety won’t come true from seed and needs to be grafted.

I can’t take credit of the needle pulling, that was done by Oyakata. After he had studied the tree for a pretty long time he gave it to me to work. I was a little too keen and had laid down the first wire before taking a picture but, It hasn’t been bent here.

This was the tree after I finished wiring and styling.

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It is a shame that this tree doesn’t really have a lower back branch, it is the one thing that it is really missing. Saying that I don’t think it turned out too bad. The four branches all had to be bent down. With three of them it was possible to do by hand with a little brute strength and a guy wire but, the second one on the right needed the jack to bring it down. With the second branch on the left I decided to split it into two separate pads as it naturally did this with its structure and I thought it would help to give the tree a little more depth as it only has four branches and an apex.

This picture was before Oyakata corrected. I haven’t taken a picture after, since the only corrections made were a couple of tweaks at the back, lowering a couple of small branches.

That’s it for now. Off to Tokyo to set up our Kokufu baiten to Tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have a few pics to share. Thanks for reading.