Use a sharp spade to "circle" the roots (pink). I don't know if what I can see at 3 and 6 on a clock are roots (red), but if they are, they'll have to be pruned anyway.
Japanese maples usually don't have very deep roots, there should be enough feeder roots around the trunk.
Then, put it in a grow-box (brown), filling the empty spaces with coarse sand, gravel, pozzolane or any non-organic soil.
I would also remove the leaves before they fall, put the box under 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) straw/leaves outside for the winter, against a wall so the temps don't go below zero at the roots. ("Zero" is when water begins to freeze, 100 ° C is when it begins to boil)
Do I clean off all of the existing soil? And will be a mixture of lava rock and pumice work?
Water the plant heavily to get it hydrated If you have a chance starting TODAY!!
Just look VERY carefully at the plant. These often are not so great for bonsai as they have an ugly grafting site.
IMO cutting the foliage will be like removing your finger from the top of a straw full of liquid.
It will bleed out the roots.
Best to keep it as intact as possible
Get it healthy again is step one. Pot it. Protect it (First frost this week for me. For you too? ). In spring let it grow. In summer let it grow. In fall, let it go to sleep. In 2021 have a plan ready.Well, if air layering is not really an option, what options are left?
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