^ The entrance. The beautifully maintained garden has handsome stepping stones and is in harmony with the characterful building. A splendid 400 year old red pine grows with a spreading branch. On the right side there are red pine, white pine, Japanese silverleaf and Hakonechloa grass.
Mountain hermitage serves as setting for a special bonsai exhibition
Beautiful autumn colours of bonsai and kusamono in a mountain retreat. A Haiku sacred place, ‘Sanro’ is a special place you can visit when travelling to Japan.
The famous Haiku poets, father and son, Dakotsu Iida and Ryuta Iida lived here, known as ‘Sanro’ or mountain hermitage, located in Fuefuki City, Yamanashi Prefecture. It has been lovingly protected to this day and is a sacred place for Haiku. Here, husband and wife team, Mr and Mrs Esaka, established professionals in the fields of bonsai and kusamono, held an autumn exhibition. It is, in fact, twelve years since the last exhibition was held here. That show was so well received and attended that they promised themselves to hold another one day. However, putting on a show and getting worthy displays proved very hard. As the months and years passed, the ideas and plans became firmer and eventually the long awaited exhibition took place. In a unique twist, each display was accompanied with a Haiku poem.
Mr Esaka describes the problems faced in creating the exhibition. ‘For most shows where the objective is to win a prize, the key thing is to have an impact. There is no room for space.’ By harmonising with the grounds, the garden and using unique collaboration with Haiku, the possibility for utilising the space and imagination widens. The aim was to have bonsai trees that are suggestive rather than having impact. In a 5-7-5 syllable Haiku, language is pared down to the absolute minimum and the husband and wife team wanted to explore that idea with bonsai, looking at space and how that can highlight the beauty of bonsai. The old house is layered with history, making the air hang heavy. By combining with evocative verse on an autumnal day it could create a beautiful exhibition that reflected on days past, beauty and sorrow.
The residence of the famous Haiku poets, father and son Dakotsu Iida (1885-1962) and Ryuta Iida (1920 -2007), in Fuefuki City, Yamanashi Pref. It is still used as the Iida family residence and maintained by them. The main building is from the latter part of the Edo Period, most of the main structures are exactly as they were when built. To the rear is an expansive bamboo forest through which the Kitsunegawa River flows. The thatched summer house, 'Gozan', was used by Dakotsu and Ryuta and was restored in 2019 and can be found across the bridge. The entire site covers 11,000 square metres, about 2.7 acres or 1.1 hectare. The garden is a private residence and as such is closed to the public, but open days are held.