This Japanese flowering apricot (Prunus mume) is from the Shunka-en Bonsai Museum. This and the other photos shown here are from Bill Valavanis' Bonsai blog.
If you’ve seen the movie The Usual Suspects, you no doubt remember Mr Kobayashi, a smooth and ruthless professional criminal with a Japanese name and a face that doesn’t match. Just another surprise in a very surprising movie.
Anyway, I happened to watch Suspects for about the fifth time the other day, and now a day or so later, I just visited Bill Valavanis (his blog that is) and there he was… the real Mr Kobayashi, a genuine Japanese bonsai master who we’ve featured several times over the years. Strangely (to me at least) I never made the connection. But then, what’s in a name anyway?
Bill’s post is titled A Visit To Shunka-en Bonsai Museum. As you might surmise, Shunka-en belongs to the real Mr Kobayahshi.
One of many powerful Shimpaku at Mr Kobayashi's Shunka-en Bonsai Museum. Here's a quote from Bill, "There were many large grafted Sargent juniper bonsai, all wired and just waiting to fill out for future sales." Bill consistently refers to Shimpaku as Sargent junipers. He is of course correct, even though most of us in the bonsai world refer to them as Shimpaku (there is a lot more that could be said about this, but we'll that for another time).
I'm going to assume that this monster involves Shimpaku foliage (or Itoigawa or something else very similar) grafted onto Sargent juniper stock.
Speaking of grafted Junipers and Juniper bonsai in general…
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Again, quoting Bill... "There are over 12 alcoves for formal bonsai displays. Mr. Kobayashi always shows his creativity in creating distinctive bonsai displays."
Close up of the Juniper from just above. The blown-up fuzz is my fault. But fuzz or no, you might still appreciate the tree's elegant lines.
Japanese wire is stronger with better holding power
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