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A Bonsai Journey, Daring Cliff Collecting and Two Famous Bonsai Masters

12/13/19

One of the daring Japanese cliff climbers who risk their lives going after some of natures best and most inaccessible bonsai

There's a long, fascinating story that comes with this tree. Unfortunately, the machine translation from the Chinese is quite sketchy so you have to be patient and a bit of a detective if you want to get to the bottom of it all. Fortunately, there are 35 photos to help us along 

My time is limited, so this is just a quick overview. If you really want to dig in, and there's plenty to dig into, I suggest you visit our source. His name is Zhao Dun. You can find him and this story on his Facebook timelineBTW, the tree and story are from Japan, but the text in our source is Chinese. 

BTW, The tree is a Juniper and though it looks like a Shimpaku, I couldn't find any reference to the species or variety

 

Before and after (the before shot is from 1988, the tree was collected in 1984). I think this gentleman might be the tree's first caretaker. His name, according to the machine translation is Mr Iraq, but I wouldn't take it to the bank

 

1992. If you follow the entire progression, it looks like the tree may have stayed in the same pot from beginning to end

 

2005. The great bonsai Master Saburo Kato was the next caretaker of this magnificent tree. I believe it stayed with Mr Kato for several years, perhaps until he died in 2008

 

2012. Several places in the story the tree is called the Fairy Tree (everything is suspect with the machine translation) and then at the end it is called the Dragon Tree. A more fitting name

 

The Magician, Bonsai Master Masahiko Kimura, (with his back to us) took over sometime in 2012 or shortly thereafter (no exact date is mentioned)

 

A better shot of Mr Kimura (aka Mr Wood, see below)

 

Here's the machine translation for this shot... "After the work of Mr. Wood, 5 big men from the green garden brought the tree into the garden." By the way, one meaning of Kimura is 'tree wood.' 
So we've got the machine's accidental little joke and to add to the fun, we've got the perfect name for a man who excels in growing, shaping and carving wood

 

Finally! No date is given. However, we do have dimensions 100cm tall x 140cm across (39" x  55"). It seem larger than that based on the photos. But then If you add about 14" for the pot, then its stands at about 49" tall. That's a big tree. 


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