2014 Winter Silhouette Bonsai Exhibition

Capital Bonsai

The National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, located on the East Coast of the United States, has been having its annual Winter Silhouettes exhibition for nearly 20 years. We’ve recently gone to a biannual show to generate more interest as winter is our slow season at the Arboretum.
IMG_0058Japanese Maple-Kiyo-hime, In training since 1946, Donated by Akiko Matsudaira.

IMG_00603 point disaply with Trident Maple, In training since 1895, Donated Prince Takamatsu, Mt. Fuji scroll, and Japanese Blood Grass.

IMG_0064Branch silhouette.

IMG_0063Japanese Blood Grass, container by MC2.

IMG_0061Triptych of Root-over-rock Chinese Elms, Donated by Yee Sun-Wu.

IMG_0070 Chinese Hackberry, In training since 1946, Donated by Shu-ying Lu.

IMG_0071Winter Suiseki.

IMG_0072 Chinese Elm, In training since 1946, Donated by Yee-sun Wu.IMG_0073 Bald Cypress, In training since 1972, Donated by Vaughn Banting.

IMG_0074 Chinese Elm, In training since 1970, Donated by Marybel Balendonck.

IMG_0075 Branch detail.

IMG_0077 Year of the Horse shohin display.

IMG_0078 Rabbit foot fern, container by Lang

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2014 88th Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition– Part 2

Valavanis Bonsai Blog




On Sunday, February 9, 2014 Part 2 of the 88th Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition opened in the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Ueno Park. On Saturday all of the nearly 300 bonsai were removed and replaced with new masterpieces. Now, I’ve been at more Kokufu Bonsai Exhibitions than I remember and I’m still amazed at the number of new bonsai which are displayed each year. There are a few repeats, but most of the trees are new. I wonder how many masterpieces are out there in Japan, but remember, new specimens are always being created while old masterpieces pass on.

Part 2 also had 170 displays, 26 important bonsai masterpieces and 55 medium size bonsai. There were again only 5 shohin bonsai compositions. The judges selected 6 Kokufu prize bonsai for Part 2.


Kokufu Sho Award, Japanese five-needle pine, Pinus parviflora



Kokufu Sho Award, Japanese black pine, Pinus…

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Ueno Green Club Sales Area

Valavanis Bonsai Blog




The sales area is a major part of most bonsai gatherings. The sale of bonsai, suiseki and other accessories for the training and appreciation of the arts is necessary for the professional bonsai artists.

The Nippon Bonsai Cooperative is the professional organization for bonsai artists and growers. A small corner lot, near the Ueno Park Zoo has been leased to the Nippon Bonsai Cooperative for many decades at a low rental price. Across the street is the headquarters for the Nippon Bonsai Association, which is a different organization from the professionals.

Approximately 20 years ago the Nippon Bonsai Cooperative organization removed the old low buildings and constructed a new, state of the art multi purpose, three story building for sales, exhibitions, meetings and judging for the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibitions. Each of the professional bonsai artists/growers was accessed a certain percentage of the building costs and they are all stockholder…

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2014 88th Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition– Part 1

Valavanis Bonsai Blog



Japanese flowering quince, Chaenomeles speciosa

After an uneventful and on-time arrival in Tokyo our group was “welcomed” by cold and wet snow. NO, I did not order the weather, in fact the meteorological conditions were better in Rochester than Tokyo. But, my wife, Diane, did get stuck at the airport in Newark for several days on her way home from the California Shohin Bonsai Seminar.


Kora Dalager’s and my International Bonsai Tour Exploration this time includes 20 people from New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Australia as well as from the United States. Four close friends from my “Crew” in Rochester joined me this time which are members of the Suiseki Study Group of Upstate New York and also officers of the Bonsai Society of Upstate New York. Two of us will have suiseki on display in the new Suiseki of Japan Exhibition opening on Sunday.

The Parkside Hotel in Ueno…

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