82nd Meifu-ten Bonsai Show

82nd Meifu-ten Bonsai Show

January 14-16 was the 82nd Annual Meifu-ten Bonsai show in Nagoya Japan.  Meifu-ten is the second oldest show in Japan behind Kokufu-ten and this year exhibited over 170 trees.  All the trees belong to hobbyist and collectors.  The average attendance of for the three day show is about 7 thousand (Not too shabby!).  There is also a large sales area which I was working at for most of the three days.  I walked through the show and took some pictures to share with all of you readers!  I have 65  pictures of trees and things going on during the show, so instead of posting all of them one by one, I decided to put them all in a gallery format.  Hopefully that will suite you all just fine and save me a whole bunch of time! (Thanks!)  If you ever find yourself in Nagoya during January, this is a show that I suggest you don’t miss!  Plus, you can come by Aichi-en and visit me as well (I get lonely…).  Hehehe.  Enjoy the show everybody!

Now that Meifu-ten is over, our next big event is the 86nd Kokufu-ten.  That show is the number one show in Japan and will be held in Tokyo on Feb 4-10.  I hope some of you will be able to make it this year, but if not, I’ll be sure to get you some pictures and details of the show.

A Milestone for the Blog

I want to thank all of you for subscribing to the blog.  As of today I have 347 subscribers which is about 347 more readers then I ever thought would subscribe.  Hahaha!  But seriously, I thought I might get 50 people max if that.  This just motivates me to continue to write more articles and make them better and better every time.  Thanks for all your support!

Thanks for coming to the show!

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43 thoughts on “82nd Meifu-ten Bonsai Show

  1. Marcelo says:

    Thanks for your good will and patience with my ignorance, Peter. I guess you started to answer my question. You wrote: “characteristics of a full grown tree”. I hope you will have energy and time to spend describing what and how theses “characteristics” should be, in order to make possible to say if a “tree-like plant” is a bonsai. I’m waiting for Kokufu pictures. Do you have any? Regards from the other side of the globe.

  2. Peter Tea says:

    Thanks everybody for your comments! Take care!

  3. Thanks for a wonderful display of beautiful trees. Truly satisfying.

  4. Marcelo says:

    Peter, I forgot to put a “?” in my question about bonsai defining criteria. Sorry. Please note I’m not talking about bonsai quality, but searching for how to define a bonsai. Thanks again, excuse my poor english.

  5. Marcelo Campos says:

    I’m learning a lot with you, Peter. Could you explain criteria to define a bonsai? I mean: between a little plant in a pot and a bonsai, many things can objectively (not in a positivist manner) pointed: proportions, presence of nebari, and so on. Is there a “check-list” to classify the plants in their journey untill be able be pointed as a “bonsai” (so far, difference between bonsai and peijin is not the point). Thanks a lot for your time. Regards from Brazil.

    • Peter Tea says:

      Great but difficult question Marcelo. Perhaps I can write a post in the future to define what a Bonsai really is. I believe the most important part is that it’s a miniature tree in a container. The important part is the word, “tree.” The Bonsai should look like a full grown tree and have characteristics of a full grown tree. I believe the first step in doing Bonsai well is understanding what natural trees do in nature and build on that. The overall shape of Bonsai can be very naturalistic to artist and abstract, but the basic structure of the tree is always tree like.

      I hope that somewhat answers your questions. I’ll try and pool my thoughts together and write about it in the future. Thanks and take care!

  6. John says:

    Peter, great post. See you at Kokufu. Are you going to carry my bags and hold te umbrella over my head, me being such an important customer and all?

    All kidding aside, looking forward to seeing ou in a coupl of weeks.

  7. Thanks for sharing your interesting experiences over there. I found it interesting and a little disturbing to see a couple trees with strong shooting branches, like the Kokonoe White Pine and the Satsuki Azalea. Is this a common or rare practice in Japan? It seemed to be a common practice over here some 30-40 years ago, but is not seen in our show trees today.

    • Peter Tea says:

      For the most part Michael, the long strong branch is on the rarer side. Most of the time trees shaped like that don’t win prizes but they definitely do make a statement. It seems that people either don’t like it or love it. It’s just a style and a preference in taste so I take it for what it is and enjoy what the creator is trying to say to me. Thanks for the comment Michael! Take care!

  8. […] again to Mr. Tea The photos in this post are all courtesy of Peter Tea, our current favorite bonsai apprentice (nothing personal to the rest of our apprenti in Japan, […]

  9. Peter says:

    Great to get an inside look at Japanese Bonsai culture and traditions

  10. xwires says:

    Everything looks great Peter – ganbatte!

  11. Marty Weiser says:

    Keep up the great work. Your blog is a great insight into both bonsai in Japan and the business of bonsai.

    You asked about the maple leaf stand. Since it is on the side of the stand I don’t think it makes a huge difference what tree is displayed as long as the front view of the stand goes well with the tree and pot. The thing I found interesting is that the leaf was pointed distinctly down. I would have preferred to see it pointed up, but not the straight up of the Canadian Maple Leaf.

    I agree with another commenter about getting more information on how pine forests are seen in Japan would be good.

    Finally, it seemed to me that a fair number of the trees were over potted compared to some of the pictures from other Japanese shows I have seen (particularly the mid sized maples). Is this due to these trees being from hobbyists who may not have the resources to check for water multiple times per day (like many of us in the US)? Or did I see them incorrectly?

    • Peter Tea says:

      Hi Marty,

      I believe the leaf on the stand was pointed down because most of the time on maple trees themselves, the leaves are weeping down. Perhaps the maker the of the table wanted to go with a more subtle feeling. Having said that, I can see a leaf pointing upward would work as well, but perhaps changes the feeling of the stand.

      As for your pot question, yes, some of the trees are in pots that are a bit big for shows. This show is an amateur show though many have professionals work on the tree. Since this show isn’t as big as say Kokufu-ten, sometimes, the tree and pot matches are a bit more relaxed. In this way, more hobbyist can see their trees in a show whereas it might not make it into Kokufut ten. Overall, the important thing about this show is that the hobbyist and customers are happy about their trees and that they can share it with others.

      Good comments and observations. Take care Marty.

  12. Peter–you’re knocking my socks off with these reports! Really, my socks are across the room 😉

  13. Thanks for sharing. My favorite is the Kokonoe White Pine. There is something about the “welcome” branch that’s fascinating.

  14. Mark Fields says:

    Thanks so much for showing us your photos. Would love to see it in person someday.

  15. Penny Pawl says:

    So many ideas from your pictures – I would go out and get to work but it is really cold today. I enjoy your posts. Penny

  16. glenn van winkle says:

    Love the pictures they inspire me to work harder. Please keep this good stuff coming and I will pass your blog on to club members. Hopefully you will pick up a few new subscribers.

  17. Steve DaSilva says:

    Hi Peter thanks for sharing . I also would like to see more kumquats in the states. I have killed a few. Can you give some advice on keeping them healthy? Thanks Steve

    • Peter Tea says:

      Hi Steve,

      Kumquats are hot items in Japan currently, especially the large trunk ones. They take a long time to get thick. You can treat them like any other citrus tree. They don’t like hard freezes and they like warm weather. They can be susceptible to bugs though so being on top of the pesticides would helps as well. They like water but can handle a bit of dry conditions. I pulled a clump out of the ground and made a bunch of one inch cuttings and put them in 100 percent pumice and they all took. Perhaps it’s the humid Summers here that they like as well. I would do some research on how normal oranges are grown and follow that. Good luck Steve and thanks as always for reading the blog!

  18. Ron says:

    Very very nice pictures and description Peter. 7 thousand people attended …..that gives us a goal to shoot for here in the USA.

  19. rittacooper says:

    Another excellent report Peter. Many thanks for sharing that experience.
    Mark & Ritta (UK)

  20. Christopher Pedneault says:

    Hi Peter, thank you so much for all the photos. As a relatively new bonsai enthusiast, I learn more and more with every post you share with us. The level of detail in each post is great and it helps me to get a better understanding of each species. Thanks again!


  21. Jeff Lahr says:

    Thanks for another great post. So many grat trees. I really like the bark on the Small literati Red Pine, but I found the shari distracting. What do you think?

    I also thought that the medium literati Needle Juniper and its root stand complimented each other nicely.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Peter Tea says:

      Hi Jeff. I share your feeling about that jin as well. It still looks man made at the moment, but perhaps in the future, it will looks better. I personally would like to see it a bit shorter. Great observation! Take care Jeff!

  22. Thanks Peter,
    What wonderful trees. I think the Japanese are still on bonsai’s cutting edge. I was especially taken with the first tree (many others too). I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a bunjin in such a deep pot. But it works. So well, that I’m going to feature it on an upcoming Bonsai Bark post (fully attributed, as always). Do you know who the artist is?
    Thanks again and keep posting!

    • Peter Tea says:

      Hi Wayne,

      The artist is Mr. Okomoto. I don’t know his first name. He is a very talented bonsai artist and he does like bunjin styles. I’ve noticed that many bunjins are being put in deep pots such as this one. I like them a lot too and have started looking for deep pots to put bunjins in. Post away my friend. Take care!

  23. Gerry Fuller says:

    Beautiful photographs…magnificant trees Thanks Peter

  24. George Haas says:

    Hi Peter, nice post as always. I am glad you are covering show details such as above. Thank you.

  25. Dominic says:

    Hi Peter , do the collectors and hobbiest prepare the trees by themself or do they to be attend by the professionals because there is a Needle Juniper from Mr. Ken Fujiwara ? To prepare such quality they need perfect conditions but there must be peolpe living in the northern prefectures with harder climatic therms. Mhm how does it works? Thank You for sharing me.

    • Peter Tea says:

      Hi Dominic,

      At this show, some of the trees were worked on by the customers themselves. In the case of Mr. Ken Fujiwara, he worked on the customer’s tree and put it in the show, but the tree belongs to the customer.

      As for people in different areas, they tend to work with trees that grow better in that area. People from the north are able to work more with Spruce and Yew whereas they will tend to grow poorly here in hot Summer Nagoya. On the other hand, Tridents that are in Nagoya, can develop better ramification then in the north because they grow so much faster here. For a show, sometimes, people will bring trees from different areas to show but then quickly return them home afterwards.

      Does that answer your questions Dominic? Thanks for the comment and thanks for reading!

  26. Sulaiman Galant says:

    Great post, I never heard of a black pine forest yet, as most forests are either maples or elms here in South Africa could you maybe show some pics of black pine forests could be a great new project for me. You are making the bonsai fraternity so much smaller. You well on your way to becoming a great master in your trade. 😉

    • Peter Tea says:

      Thanks for reading the blog Sulaiman. There aren’t many Black Pine forest that I’ve seen in Japan but I do like them when I see them. I’ll try and take as many pictures of them as I can and perhaps write a post about them in the future. Thanks for the suggestion. Take care!

  27. […] the article here: 82nd Meifu-ten Bonsai Show « Peter Tea Bonsai comments: Closed tags: 82nd, aichi-en, annual, annual-meifu-ten, apprentice, […]

  28. Morten Albek says:

    Thanks you for your inspiring reports.
    Morten Albek

  29. Hi Peter,

    Thanks for sharing the pictures of the Meifu-Ten, great show. I’m always amazed how big these sales areas are!

  30. Don Quixote says:

    Hey Peter,
    Thanks for taking us to 82nd Annual Meifu-ten Bonsai show in Nagoya Japan this evening.
    Where are we going next?

  31. Dirk says:

    Always a lot of information and beautiful trees on your blog, so it would be crazy not to read the posts. 347 people took time to subscribe, a lot more is reading… Looking forward for next posts…

  32. Sandy Vee says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with all of us.

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