Bonsai Today

Online magazine for Bonsai lovers

Masterclass

Can you restyle a Bonsai masterpiece?

Masayuki Fujikawa takes things further by transforming a masterpiece

It is said that a tree displayed at Kokufu has reached a point of completion in a long journey. As the tree grows, finds a new owner, or an artist to care for it, the viewpoint of the tree will gradually change

The last Giant

Taking a mega juniper from raw material to masterpiece bonsai
Mr Hirokatsu Iura and his son Takashi Iura took quite a risk in creating a marvellous juniper of amazing proportions.


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At your own risk

Italian, Alessandro Bonardo, now 24, has been an apprentice under Mr Kimura for 6 years and in May 2022, it was formally announced that he had graduated. Within the garden he is affectionately known as Aless. Mr Kimura prepared a tree, an unusually shaped Miyajima white pine for this demo,

The crazy rock

Something completely different: Mauro Stemberger creates the rock pine


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Time for change

Restyling a famous tree into something new is difficult work and an artist must stake their reputation on it


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A Pine Puzzle

Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris, is one of the most popular pine varieties and one of the most commonly styled tree.


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Father and Son

The Sanriku junipers: Father and Son Omachi work on yamadori trees


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THE GIANT LOOP

Mauro Stemberger styles a massive Scots pine with a loop shaped trunk


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Out of the box

The pine called 'Okou no kyosho' is brought back into shape by Master Kunio Kobayashi


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Wired up?

Improving your wiring skills with Chiharu Imai


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The ‘Mugo’ team

The mugo pine is an extraordinary example of a yamadori, an impressive trunk with some natural shari and lots of compacted branches on top. A real challenge for Matt and Tyler


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Can Kimura dance with a shari?

Masahiko Kimura rearranges the foliage around a dancing shari Exploring the artistic sensitivity of Mr Kimura, we take a look at the material he will work on. The transformation is not tremendously dramatic, however the work is of the highest quality in order to accentuate the best characteristics of the…...


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No bonsai stays the same

Working on a very ancient and treasured juniper, Chiharu Imai realises that no bonsai stays the same and so he respectfully gives the tree a new shape for the future.


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Can it grow upside down?

To get the best results Masahiko Kimura flips a juniper upside down Just turn it upside down, a brilliant idea, which for many would be an impossible option; not so for Masahiko Kimura Another upside down tree, but this is quite different. When we were in the garden of Mr…...


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No beating about the bush

A very bushy juniper for Mauro Stemberger to style It was January 2020 when I arrived at the small city of Marostica at the foot of the Italian Alps for a demo with Mauro Stemberger. In the studio of Enrico Pavin, Mauro, together with his team, was ready to transform…...


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Amigos of the tejos

How to transform a ‘pig’ of a tree into a breathtaking cascade Kevin Willson had a few years stay in sunny Alicante, Spain, where marvellous material can be found. Dug from the surrounding mountains are yews, junipers and olives — all Mediterranean trees that require a different approach from the…...


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The final test

Andrei Bessonov’s final work as an apprentice to Master Kimura After six years of apprenticeship under Mr Kimura, this is the ‘final test’ for Andrei, with a tree that was obtained specifically for this purpose. Multiple trunks on this aged old white pine give it a very scenic feel. The…...


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Is it a gamble?

Masahiko Kimura is challenged by a huge yew. In a corner of Masahiko Kimura’s bonsai nursery is a yew planted in the ground. The trunk is slender and of a feminine appearance. The top section has great potential as bonsai, both from a deadwood perspective and branch placements. If air…...


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The survivor

Rebirth of a juniper that survived the Tohoku earthquake The Sanriku Coast is a dramatic, rocky shoreline with countless bays, cliffs and coves that stretches for over 300 kilometres along the Pacific Coast from just north of Sendai to Aomori. On March 11, 2011, the strongest ever recorded earthquake in…...


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Too thick to bend?

Manuel Germade deals with a tough case — a Buxus with unbendable branches. Working on a tree that’s long, slender, with a fantastic curling trunk seems like perfect material. But there is just one downside, you can’t bend its branches because they all grow vertically. A challenge for Manuel, he…...


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Two Masters, one pine

Marco Invernizzi reworks a very old mugo pine, which has a story to tell. Marco Invernizzi fell in love with the remarkable shapes of this Italian mugo pine (Pinus mugo). Although already touched by another Italian Master, Sandro Segneri, he felt challenged to work on it. In Alexandre Escudero’s studio…...


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Sweat and tears

Ryan Neil vs huge garden tree This bulky juniper (Juniperus chinensis) was originally meant to end up in a Japanese garden. Could it be made into a bonsai? Its massive proportions indicated that it would be a tough job, but perfect for Ryan Neil. However, styling it into bonsai proportions…...


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