Today I just want to share my experience during the #Japanday2019 celebrations. This year the theme was the rugby edition due to that fact that the rugby world cup will be hosted by Japan this year. It promises to be a very unique world cup.
I arrived at the venue at 09:45 just in time for the opening ceremony. As always I was not disappointed. There were a few small acts through out the day on the stage but I was drown to the bonsai exhibition and moss display. This year the bonsai exhibition was overseen by someone else and for the first time in two years I did not have to stand behind a counter telling people more about bonsai. I could stand in the other side and ask the questions. 😉
Here are a few photos I took of the trees on display.
Here is a interesting display that was on show at the exhibition. A well groomed Ficus tree and a small feminine accent plant. I like the fact that the accent plant is placed to the right of the main tree and the long lower branch on the tree adds character to the tree. You do not see this type of design in Ficus species that often. You would more likely see a symmetrical design with a rounded shape. what makes this combination work for me is the fact that you barely see the accent plant as first glance but as you eye follows the line of the branch you end up at the tip of the branch and you see the small fine accent plant. Simple yet beautiful.
I saw with the trees on display that there is a move away from the more traditional styling of trees. I see that more and more of the trees on display in the local shows and exhibitions are indigenous tree species. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that our climate in the Western Cape, South Africa is not suitable for the normal traditional tree species used as bonsai in Japan and overseas. Don’t get me wrong there are a few bonsai professionals that I’m aware of that have great trees that they have bought or imported that are doing well. They look amazing but the truth been told there is also a lot that these professionals are not telling us. What do I mean by this? Well they are placing these trees under shade nets, they water them three times a day, they treat them with pesticides and they have other chemicals that they use on the trees that they are not talking about or sharing with anyone. You could say but that sounds like how you care for your trees and that is what is expected of you. This is true but I have realized that not all of us have the time to care for trees as if it was a full time job. So for this reason I use general treatment and maintenance techniques on my trees so that I can cover a wide range of pests but also use the treatment on all my trees. I do not have time to use a specie specific treatment on every tree I have. Maybe one day when I have the time I would be able to do this.
Another interesting thing that I saw at Japanday was the Baobab trees that was on display. I could not get nice clear photos of the baobab trees. They were still being trained and not in bonsai pots. One thing that I saw with the baobab trees were that their branches do not get wired into place. They get pulled into place with guy wires. the reason for this is that their branches are very soft and get damaged easily.
There was one extra surprise factor on display at Japanday. It was a moss display. OK… I know that does not sound to interesting but I was amazed at the amount of effort and skill put into the design of these moss displays. There was a entire presentation on the design of these moss displays and how moss reacts. The person presenting the talk has studied in Japan and has lived there for a number of years. He moved to South Africa and still works in Japan. So he is back and forth between South Africa and Japan.
He called the art form “Bonsan”. He mentioned that it falls under the bonsai umbrella but still is a separate art form all together. It was one of the best presentations that I have been to in a while and the content was mind blowing. It could be because the topic was something that I can relate to.
Here are a few photos of the moss displays.
If you look at the photos above you will see that there are different mosses used in combination with each other. So these different mosses are used to represent different types of vegetation from a aerial view. The rocks used represent mountains. By adding more moss and different rocks you can change the scenery to be a dry less populated mountain range or to a heavily populated rain forest. It looks easy and very simple to make but as soon as you try is you’ll find out that it’s not as easy as it looks.
The power went off at the venue round about 12:10. This is called #loadshedding. So everything that worked with electricity was off. So me and my wife decided to head home. It was a great experience and for the first time I could enjoy the other exhibitions and stalls.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Hope you enjoyed the content. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in section provided below.