Japanday 2020: Young Talent Competition

I was glad to hear that the Japanday 2020 held at Oude Libertas open air theater on 14 May 2020 was not canceled due to the #corona virus outbreak. Although this is a very serious outbreak the treat level was not as high as in other areas in the Western Cape. But for the event to take place there were very strict policies and guideline set out by the local health officials. I must congratulate the Japanese consulate and the events managing team for their commitment to the event and the safety of all the attendees.

The master of ceremonies opened the event by welcoming everyone to the event and explaining how attendees should go about greeting each other. This was a very informative session and he had two young Japanese gentlemen assisting him by acting out the different styles of greeting each other by bowing. I never knew that there were so many ways of greeting by bowing. Each bow has a different meaning and communicates the level of respect you have for the other person. This demonstration was done continually through out the day.

This year was a special year for me and I will remember #japanday2020 for many more years to come. It all started when I was contacted to take part in the young talent competition. I have done about four of these competitions now and I go through the motions of participating without giving it to much thought. I styled the tree just like I normally do, but this year I felt good about my design and I took the time to study the material upfront and I think that helped me to get a better understanding of what I will be doing. I planned every move and I was done before all the other participants. This made me kind of nervous as I started to look at the other trees around me and this made me second guess my work. All the other participants had great designs.


Once all of our trees were done the judges asked us leave the area were we styled the trees so that they could judge the trees. The organizer of the young talent competition came up to us and asked us for our surnames as this would be written on the certificate.

Romano Samuels translates to ロマーノ・サミュエルズ as you will see in the second line from the right.


Needless to say I won the competition. I was really shocked and honored to receive this certificate. It was something that I have wanted for so long but once you get it you realize that you reached the goal and it’s now time to set a new one. With that said I may not participate in any more young talent competitions at the Japanday. There is a rule that says once you won a competition you are not able to compete in the competition again. I really liked styling trees at these events as it was always lots of fun and I liked working under pressure.


I was asked to bring the tree along to the next club meeting at the end of March 2020. So that the tree can be discussed. Hopefully there will only be positive comments. I really do not mind people giving me advice and criticizing my work as this gives me an opportunity to get feedback. This “unfiltered” feedback will help me grow into a better bonsai enthusiast.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Hope you enjoyed it. If you have any comments or questions please feel free to leave them in the section provided below.



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