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The Tree Grows and the Rock Doesn't...


Here's what Michael Hagedorn wrote about this tree... "Another tree from my apprenticeship days, prep work for the Kokufu show. Always liked this tree. Although arguably junipers are best with more dynamic and energy, the quiet presence of this one had a charm of its own. All I did was clarify some of the padding and make minor adjustments"  

There's something exciting or even romantic about the idea of apprenticing in Japan. However, before we get carried away, I have a strong suspicion that most of us wouldn't last a day. The excitement and romance would likely go the first moment you wake up at 5am. freezing with no heat, an empty stomach and a task you are expected to do with minimal understanding of the one syllable instructions. Don't believe me? Try Michal Hagedorn's Post-Dated (see below), the best bonsai read in the English language (it's funny too).

The bonsai shown here are from Michael's apprentice days in Japan. You can find these and others on his fb timeline and Crataegus Bonsai, his website/blog


In Michael's own words... "Another one from my apprenticeship, and yet another White Pine. I miss those White Pines. This bunjin had some fun history, as Mr. Suzuki had also wired it for show was he was an apprentice with his master, Mr. Hamano, 30 years earlier. Bonsai often float back through studios again and again, to be revisited by the same people


Again, Michael's caption... "Continuing sharing some photos from my yesterdays, here's another White Pine wired during my apprenticeship. Old fella, root over rock, although you can barely see the rock any more. The tree grows and the rock doesn't, what are you going to do..." 


One more from Michael... "I remember the day Mr. Suzuki said, 'Here's a new front and inclination, rework it!' And this was the result; photo from a Kokufu book. You can find old photos of this White Pine as a more upright tree. Anyhow, fond memory"



I've already said my piece about Michael's book, so once again, in his own words... "My book about a bonsai apprenticeship with Mr. Shinji Suzuki of Nagano, Japan. You don’t need an interest in bonsai to enjoy this book, as it's very much a travelogue in spirit and content. You can find it at Stone Lantern"


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