If you haven’t seen the Magician wielding a chainsaw, check this out. It’s from a 2007 bonsai convention at Mistral Bonsai in the Spanish province of Tarragona (I was there, but that’s another story). Kimura’s assistant is Salvatore Liporace, a well know Italian bonsai artist and author of several Bonsai Today articles.
When Masahiko Kimura introduced his custom made chainsaw into the bonsai world, it created a buzz that was heard first in the Japanese bonsai community and then throughout the world (well, world bonsai community).
This is what Kimura’s famous custom chainsaw looks like (it’s not the one he used in the video above). The photo is from The Bonsai Art of Kimura (out of print), Stone Lantern Publishing.
Kimura is without a doubt the most famous bonsai artist in the world. And for good reason. He revolutionized the art of bonsai in Japan and the world by fearlessly pushing the boundaries of innovation and creativity, and, not incidentally, by introducing power tools into the art.
There are two excellent books on Kimura’s work in English (both published by Stone Lantern): The Bonsai Art of Kimura (out of print) and The Magician, The Bonsai Art of Kimura 2. There are also numerous articles that feature Kimura’s techniques in back issues of Bonsai Today magazine, and an excellent interview with Kimura in Morten Albek’s Shohin Bonsai.