John, I take it to mean can a jinned branch still be considered a branch for design purposes ie. 1st branch or third ,wherever. I think you will get a good variety here, but I think yes, it's a visual draw, just no foliage. I do sometimes try to look over a tree design wise to see how what falls into place, I think you would do this if the branch in question was dead or dying rather then purposefully jin it, but that too could be viable choice.
Thanks Bill S and rockm, I was just never sure if there was a certain "bonsai etiquette" that considered jins as more like an "additive" as opposed to, as rockm very well states, as "a primary design element".
It depends on the "visual weight" of the jin. If it is powerful enough, then it can be considered an important part of thesign, and thus a "first branch".
On the other hand, if it's just a little stub, or a relatively thin deadwood, then it is probably not important enough to be considered a 1st or 2nd branch.