86th Annual Kokufu-ten

86th Annual Kokufu-ten

Good friends from the US visiting the show!

The 86th annual Kokufu-ten show is held every year in Tokyo and it was both tiring and fun being apart of it.  This year Aichien only put one tree in the show but we did help out the Daiju-en Bonsai family which put in 13 trees into the show.  This was the first time I attended Kokufu during my apprenticeship so it was exciting to see the behind the scene stuff.  Since I was there for the set up of the show, I was able to get a bunch of pictures of the trees so I’m sharing them with you now.  There was over 200 trees at the show and I’m going to show you about 65 of them.  Four trees won the covenant Kokufu prize this year and I got shots of all them.  Instead of making this a huge post about all the things I did, I’m just going to give it to you in this slideshow.  This way, I can get back to the large Black Pine that I’m wiring.  Hehehe.  There are over 100 pictures in the slide show so sit back relax and enjoy the show!

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Thanks for visiting the show.  Now that you’ve seen pictures, perhaps you can plan a future trip to Japan and see the show in person.  It’s a whole experience in itself!

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20 thoughts on “86th Annual Kokufu-ten

  1. […] this tree was exhibited again this year in the 86th Kokufu-ten. The picture below was taken from Peter Tea’s blog: The same tree in […]

  2. […] the world’s most famous bonsai show. Somebody took a picture of Peter Tea (one of our favorite apprentices) taking a picture at this year’s Kokufu-ten. I think this is after Peter and numerous others […]

  3. Bruce Winter says:

    Too many beyond -awesome trees to comment on, I’m out of adjectives!
    But that camellia…We don’t see many of them and this one is the best ever!

    Thanks for the great show, Peter.

  4. Gerry Fuller says:

    Beautiful photos of amazing trees.. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Paul Wycoff, Rewood Empire Bonsai Society member says:

    Thank you Peter for the wonderful slide show. Shows are a lot of hard work but it is always fun to get behind the scene. I enjoy your posts very much.

  6. Steve Moore says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Peter. 🙂 I’m not sure my wife would want to to go a show like that: wild horses wouldn’t get me out under a week!

    It’s hard to say which tree impressed me most, but maybe it was the JBP in the “sweet pot:” rarely have I seen such a perfect match of pot and tree!

  7. Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Peter! I’ll be there one day 😉

  8. Jon Wooten says:

    Thanks for sharing! Spectacular!

  9. Aaron says:

    Wow… what a coincidence. The Ezo spruce that you said “I like this tree” was in one of the old kokufu albums we were flipping through at Aichi en. I knew it looked familiar! I liked it too – enough to take a picture of the page in the book! I will email it to you 🙂

  10. Alex DeRuiter says:

    Hey Peter, I have a question about one of the trees from the sales area. You commented on a Trident maple being a winner of one of the past Kokufu exhibitions, and it was actually created at Aichien. Do you happen to have any other photographs of this tree? It looks amazing, but I’d like to see it in more detail if possible.

    As always, thank you for sharing everything!

  11. Dave Martin says:

    Thank you sharing these pictures they are rarely able to be taken, so well done and keep up the good work.

  12. Mike Arakaki says:

    Bill Valvanis posted his comments of the show and said he felt quality was down from Kokufu shows from the past, I know this was your first but what do you think? It all looks so impressive from the pictures! How does it compare to the trees we saw at the Taikan Ten?

    • Peter Tea says:

      Thanks for the comment Mike. I believe that this year’s Kokufu is much better then last year. This year and last year, the show was moved to a different building because the old place (museum) is being remodeled. I heard that because of the new location, some great trees are being held back to be presented in the newly remodeled museum. Kokufuten will be back in the museum next year and should be a excellent show. If anybody is planning on going to Kokufu-ten, I would definitely suggest they make it next year!

      So I don’t believe that the quality has dropped or anything, I think it’s just a location issue. In the year that I’ve been here, I’ve seen many trees at different nurseries that are being groomed and developed to not just be in Kokufu, but have what it takes to win the prize. I believe we’re going to see some more awesome trees in the next 5-10 years and beyond.

      Having said all that, I would have to agree that I’ve seen better Kokufu shows in the past as well.

      Thanks again Mike and take care!

  13. Fr. Tom Davis, OSA says:

    Absolutely incredible! Many thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures and your comments. Someday, I hope to go there and see for myself.

  14. Sandy Vee says:

    WOW! what impressive trees. Thanks for the budget visit to this show.

  15. Mark Fields says:

    Thanks so much for sharing the photos. I hope to see it in person next year.

  16. David says:

    Woow, what a review 🙂
    these pics are rare i think. A pitty they can’t be enlarged to see more detail of some trees.
    Since nobody wants that punica from 2 years ago, i will take it ;-).
    Why do they sell a tree like that? So beautiful and special. Can’t understand… is that for the money or why do they sell those impressive pieces?
    Tx for sharing Peter.

    • Peter Tea says:

      That is a great question David! The reason why they are selling that tree is because once a tree wins the Kokufu prize, it can never win it again. Sometimes collectors loose interest in the tree because they were only interested in winning. Other collectors tend to not want it either because they can’t put in into show and win the prize either. I’ve heard that once a tree wins the Kokufu prize, the value almost drops 50 percent. Having said that, 50 percent can still be 50,000 dollars!

      I’m with you in wanting this tree. I’d love to have it just because it’s a great tree! I heard it did sell at the green club though so some collector is now admiring the tree in their own yard. :o)

  17. Jeff Lahr says:

    When you return to the states, I wonder which you will value more, your pot collection or your collection of great photographs?

  18. Frank Kelly (Ardath Bonsai and Suiseki, Canberra Australia) says:

    Wow Peter, what an exhibition. I thought my visit to Kyoto for Taikan-ten last year was fantastic but maybe I’ll have to return to see a Kokufu-ten event. Good to see you still managing to smile in the cold of a Tokyo winter :-). Love these posts – keep it up. Regards from sunny “down under” Australia.

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