2015 89th Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition– Part 2

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


Part 2 of Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition was held on February 10-13, 2015 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan, following a day closed where 181 bonsai displays were replaced with all new bonsai, except for the four special displays. The Japan Suiseki Exhibition opened on the closed day and the Ueno Green Club sales area was also open for visitors.



These two views may quickly seem similar to Part 1, however all the trees are new. However under close examination a few of the companion plantings were identical, but slightly rotated. I’m not certain because my personal study of Part 2 has not been completed yet, but I think I remember seeing a few display tables from Part 1.


Japanese five-needle pine, Pinus parviflora


Gardenia, Gardenia jasmoindes


Zuisho Japanese five-needle pine, Pinus parviflora ‘Zuisjo.’ Perhaps the reason for the increased number of this choice cultivar is because most…

View original post 654 more words

2019 93rd Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition Part II– Part 2

Valavanis Bonsai Blog

IMG_2791 2.jpg

This is my last day at the exhibition and this will be last blog entry. Officials estimate that approximately 1,200 people have visited the exhibition daily. The crowds vary during the day, and sometimes its impossible to photograph, so repeat trips are necessary. I’ve walked over 24 miles looking at bonsai this week, just ask my sore feet. I have gone through the exhibitions five times, carefully studying the trees and how they created, refined, repaired and tried to cover things tried to trick the viewer’s eyes.


Dwarf Stewart


Chojubai Flowering Quince, largest I’ve seen, but certainly not the best.


Sargent Juniper, which way do I look?


Toyo Nishiki Japanese Flowering QuinceIMG_2779.jpg

Japanese Five-needle Pine


Japanese Red Pine

I’ve been watching the large cascade dark purple Magnolia to see the progression of flowers. Now there are small leaves emerging which means that extra protection must be provided until the end…

View original post 92 more words

019 93rdKokufu Bonsai Exhibition Part 2– Part 1

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


The second half of this year’s 93rdKokufu Bonsai Exhibition is being held on February 14-17, 2019. This half is quite beautiful, one of the best ever! Many people often mention that this year, or that year are the best editions. However, most have a limited exposure or visits to this exhibition. I’ve been attending for more than 45 years, and, in my personal opinion, this second half is one of the finest I’ve ever been fortunate to study.


This is a famous Japanese maple bonsai and I was surprised to see how small it was. Probably only about 20″ tall.

IMG_2512 2.jpg

Rhododendron species


Japanese Red Pine

2019 Part 2 Statistics

151 Individual Bonsai Displays

Over 225 Individual Bonsai Specimens

108 Large Bonsai

36 Medium Bonsai

7 Shohin Bonsai Compositions

5 Kokufu Bonsai Prizes

4 Bonsai Displayed with Suiseki

I found that fact that 4 bonsai were displayed with suiseki…

View original post 1,109 more words

A Walk, & Stumble, Through Kunio Kobayashi’s Shunka-en Bonsai Museum

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


It’s always a treat to wander through the Shunka-en Bonsai Museum in Tokyo. There are more and more and larger and larger bonsai to appreciate and learn from. Today’s wander, and stumble down the stairs did not disappoint.




Clearly, Japanese black pines are the king in the museum. They are everywhere, mostly in large sizes, for the Chinese market. Mr. Kobayashi has one said that if you want to make money, grow Japanese black pine bonsai.



On display was his famous white Japanese flowering apricot bonsai which is a past Kokufu Award winner and was on the cover of a Chinese penjing magazine as well. It was truly stunning and is a superb example of what a bonsai is. Beauty, refinement, well trained and the evidence of loving care, which has aged in a container. You really cannot fake this appearance. Although many attempt to with evergreen bonsai.


In the…

View original post 162 more words