With loud drum the 8th edition of the world bonsai convention in Omiya Saitama was opened last night. Many honorary guests were allowed to speech, each and everyone more pleased with our presence. Even the royal family had sent a representative to indicate the importance of this event to Japan and the Japanese culture.
The highlight of the opening was without doubt the 2 hour demonstration by Kimura and his 3 assistants. Well, assistants.. Each of them has finished a 6 year training with Kimura, so they know exactly what his way of working is, and what the plan for the evening was. They worked on a bonsai rock planting using a rock of about 1 metre tall.
The rock itself was made by Kimura by grinding a sand stone rock into a set of steep pinnacles, representing the mountains of Zhangjiajie in China. After processing the rock, he treated the stone with a layer of coloured cement, to reduce the erosion of the rock. Also, anchor wires were attached to the rock. All this work was done before the actual ceremony, so he and his team could focus on planting the rock itself.
As planting material he used small bonsai junipers. These plants were prepared for the rock planting. In august 2016 he wired the plants, and placed grafts directly below the foliage. This resulted in small tight rootballs at the time of the demonstration. The plants itself are 4-6 year old cuttings. In order to place the plants on the rock, they were separated from the original roots, and only the newly formed roots at the layer site were used to attach the plant to the rock. This safes a lot of fidgety work when planting rocks. Everyone who has tried, knows how hard it is to make sure the roots fit narrow crevices in the rocks! Because all the materials were meticulously prepared, the demo could be short, yet lead to an impressive result!