Kazari 2019

Smoke

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Interesting note.....the trunk moves to the left, but the canopy goes back toward the right.

Even though the trunk moves left, it feels to me like the correct position.....with the branching movement pointing back towards the center of the display.

What do you think, Al?
Well....Kathy Shaner might agree with you. She said Boons tree in this display was on the wrong side due to the apex of the canopy. What do you think? Jim Gremel was there to defend Boons honor, by going thru a whole animated diagram of a little man in the picture sawing the tree down and stating rather bluntly, "which way wouldthe tree fall Kathy?

WWSS, I agree with Boon.

From 2010 in Hanford. Boon was pretty pissed he didn't win with all the peons there, I came in second. Anyone wish to critique this from a purely Tokonoma point of view.

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TomB

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Anyone wish to critique this from a purely Tokonoma point of view.

View attachment 236298
OK - with the caveat that Boon obviously knows much better than me ...
Overall, the impression is very aesthetically pleasing.
I agree about the direction of the main tree. Yes the apex makes it a bit ambiguous but the direction of the visual weight, the first branch, and the initial trunk movement, all say the placement is appropriate.
The scroll is nicely sized and not too dominant. It's hard for me to say but one might run into some questions about seasonality (the mist, if I'm seeing it correctly, hints at autumn rather than spring). It makes a pleasing image though.
I would like to see the maple further back in the display. The current placement seems to give it too much prominence relative to the larger tree. Horizontal spacing is good though.
I'd also like to see the maple on a lower, less formal stand (maybe a wood slice).
I am not sure if the flowering accent is required.
 

Smoke

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OK - with the caveat that Boon obviously knows much better than me ...
How do you know that?

What makes you say that?

Obviously Trump has shown that it takes a business manager rather than a politician to run the country. You might not agree at face value, but no one can argue with his results.

Results always matter........
 

Smoke

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I agree about the direction of the main tree. Yes the apex makes it a bit ambiguous but the direction of the visual weight, the first branch, and the initial trunk movement, all say the placement is appropriate.
Agree, and the apex is centered right over the root mass. No ambiguity there. Kathy said the tree pointed out of the frame, Jim said it was correct. Kathy was the judge. Even Judges make errors. There was lots more wrong than just the position of the tree.


First of all, I think many people here look at these trees as a display. A tree display, like in a club setting. You put your best tree on a great stand, maybe a cool accent in a thirty dollar pot you bought last month at the convention.

That is not what Toko Kazari is about. It is about story telling, like a haiku. Three line Japanese poetry. Very simple yet to the point. The essence of haiku is "cutting" (kiru).

The name of Boons display was King and Queen. The Pine being "King" and the maple being "Queen". The only problem is, when displaying in this setting redundancy is a fault. You would never display two trees in a Tokonoma display. They fight each other.

But in Boons world, and that in displays in Japan, a main tree shown with an accent tree is very common. In fact each year Boons exhibit of fine trees is precisely set up that way. Much like a Formal Kokufu exhibit.

But these displays miss the mark of what we try to tell in a display in a Tokonoma. In Boons exhibit the emphasis is on the quality of the tree rather than the quality of the story. That is what I think many here fail to see. Trust me I've placed three times and the quality of my trees are no where near that mark. I just told a better story with a lessor quality tree. Now if the whole display as a group told really great stories, then the judging would have to go to better executed trees and quality. You go to Boon's show to enjoy the quality of the trees. Of course they look great arranged this way, sure they go out of their way to make sure the trees compliment each other. But, I would enjoy them if the were individually displayed like many are.

DSC_002211.JPGDSC_003423.JPGDSC_003625.JPGDSC_004938.JPG


Single trees.

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TomB

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You’re right, I was viewing it from a conventional exhibition perspective.

So another try, keeping with the ‘King and Queen’ theme.

Keep the pine on its stand.
Get rid of the maple, scroll and accent.

Add a scroll with a simple illustration of a few springtime maple leaves.

Two point display, cut to the basics, maintaining seasonality, maintaining the intention of the installation.

Closer?
 

Adair M

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Agree, and the apex is centered right over the root mass. No ambiguity there. Kathy said the tree pointed out of the frame, Jim said it was correct. Kathy was the judge. Even Judges make errors. There was lots more wrong than just the position of the tree.


First of all, I think many people here look at these trees as a display. A tree display, like in a club setting. You put your best tree on a great stand, maybe a cool accent in a thirty dollar pot you bought last month at the convention.

That is not what Toko Kazari is about. It is about story telling, like a haiku. Three line Japanese poetry. Very simple yet to the point. The essence of haiku is "cutting" (kiru).

The name of Boons display was King and Queen. The Pine being "King" and the maple being "Queen". The only problem is, when displaying in this setting redundancy is a fault. You would never display two trees in a Tokonoma display. They fight each other.

But in Boons world, and that in displays in Japan, a main tree shown with an accent tree is very common. In fact each year Boons exhibit of fine trees is precisely set up that way. Much like a Formal Kokufu exhibit.

But these displays miss the mark of what we try to tell in a display in a Tokonoma. In Boons exhibit the emphasis is on the quality of the tree rather than the quality of the story. That is what I think many here fail to see. Trust me I've placed three times and the quality of my trees are no where near that mark. I just told a better story with a lessor quality tree. Now if the whole display as a group told really great stories, then the judging would have to go to better executed trees and quality. You go to Boon's show to enjoy the quality of the trees. Of course they look great arranged this way, sure they go out of their way to make sure the trees compliment each other. But, I would enjoy them if the were individually displayed like many are.

View attachment 236301View attachment 236302View attachment 236303View attachment 236304


Single trees.

View attachment 236305View attachment 236306View attachment 236307View attachment 236308
Smoke, Boon teaches 3 Point Display, as a way to display medium to small size trees, but larger than Shohin. In a Kokufu style exhibition.

He does not teach Tokonoma Display. Or whatever display type this show is.

I have a question: you stated that the participants try to make the best display they can with whatever is there? Do they bring the material? Or are they supposed to do the best they can with whatever material someone brings for them to use? Because it seems to me that all the scrolls are rather large for the available space. And the trees, too. Maybe all my thoughts are totally off base because I don’t know enough about how this exhibition works!
 

Smoke

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A little story about story telling.

I know everyone here has heard those that speak of the Japanese way of making trees and how they do it versus how we in America may find the Japanese way rather restrictive. Every culture has their quirks and the way they wish to do things.

The first time we had the judged Kazari was in 2009 in Hanford Ca at the Clark Collection of Bonsai. It has since moved to Fresno upon Bill Clarks death but we try to keep the tradition alive.

So I was pretty tight with the collection in Hanford then and Bob Hilvers and I ( the Curator) began talks about what we wanted to do. Well we got it off the ground and I decided that I wished to do this. I have a favorite place I like to drive to in the country each spring and take pictures. It is along a creek bed and there is a fence with fence posts that are filled with woodpecker holes. I find the posts beautiful and was thinking of a way I could incorporate that into my display somehow.

DSC_0079.JPGDSC_0084.JPGDSC_0086.JPGDSC_0017.JPGIMG_58251.JPGIMG_58301.JPGIMG_58321.JPG

I love the interplay of barbed wire and wood post, weathered and full of holes. Such a patina on simple things. I wanted to capture that.
 

Smoke

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So I set to work figuring out how I would use this to my advantage. I went up late one night and found the post that would fit my need. I sawed off about 10 inches of the post and screwed another portion back on. I was able to find some of the barbed wire loose near a tree and scarfed a foot or so. Then I set about making my accent.

I used a bowl of suitable size, (too large I would find out) and made my accent. Using the post and wire I simulated what I had driven by a hundred times since I was a child. I shot my first quail near here, fished that stream when it used to be fuller and just enjoyed this place.

DSC_00051.JPG

So the name of my display was called "Butterflies and Barbs" a cute interplay on the items I chose to display. I chose a pyracantha to display along with a scroll with butterflies.

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The judging, and the comments.

First I had flowers in the accent and in the scroll = redundancy
The accent was too large and competed with the tree
The accent was too plant heavy with so many species
Felt the scroll was a little high
The stand and the jitta were same color

I know picky right. Well thats how you choose a winner.

So now everything is done and they are passing out the awards and the checks and they get all done. Then they wish to ask who is the person who submitted the display with the barbed wire.

I shyly put my hand up.

They ask me my name and "why I decide to enter such a politically motivated display piece."

I told them I had not. "My piece was about a road that I drive to in the spring with flowers and a barbed wire fence".

Oh we get it now. "We thought you were making a statement about Japanese internment camps during WWII and the barbed wire that surrounded them and the butterflies that fly there now"

Someone had to close my mouth since by now it was on the floor, a couple guys looked at me in dismay, then we drank more wine. So much for Japanese cliche's in 2009, 70 years later.
 

Smoke

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Smoke, Boon teaches 3 Point Display, as a way to display medium to small size trees, but larger than Shohin. In a Kokufu style exhibition.

He does not teach Tokonoma Display. Or whatever display type this show is.

I have a question: you stated that the participants try to make the best display they can with whatever is there? Do they bring the material? Or are they supposed to do the best they can with whatever material someone brings for them to use? Because it seems to me that all the scrolls are rather large for the available space. And the trees, too. Maybe all my thoughts are totally off base because I don’t know enough about how this exhibition works!
 

Smoke

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Smoke, Boon teaches 3 Point Display, as a way to display medium to small size trees, but larger than Shohin. In a Kokufu style exhibition.
This does not make sense to me.

He does not teach Tokonoma Display. Or whatever display type this show is.
I never said he did. But the prize was 2500.00, 1000.00 and 500.00 and I have it on good authority that he felt this would be a cake walk. He was held to the same rules as everyone else. Obviously he didn't do his homework.

I have a question: you stated that the participants try to make the best display they can with whatever is there? Do they bring the material? Or are they supposed to do the best they can with whatever material someone brings for them to use? Because it seems to me that all the scrolls are rather large for the available space. And the trees, too. Maybe all my thoughts are totally off base because I don’t know enough about how this exhibition works!
This was a training exercise for those interested. Most of the stuff was brought and mixed around for use. During the judged kazaris in years past everyone brings their own stuff. Hopefully you have had it prepared for a few months and are not on a stool in the hall closet the night before looking for a scroll you think you had.

I have around thirty scrolls in a waterproof box. Some are in wood boxes from Japan. Average price with shipping for a good scroll is about a hundred dollars. sometimes less and sometimes a lot more. The double box on the bed has a spring scroll and a winter scroll in it. I paid about 250.00 for that one.

Some scrolls I brought for Kathy to use in 2010 for her class on display.

DSC_0055.JPGDSC_00690069.JPGDSC_00700070.JPGDSC_00720072.JPGDSC_00890089.JPGDSC_00900090.JPG
 

Adair M

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This does not make sense to me.



I never said he did. But the prize was 2500.00, 1000.00 and 500.00 and I have it on good authority that he felt this would be a cake walk. He was held to the same rules as everyone else. Obviously he didn't do his homework.


This was a training exercise for those interested. Most of the stuff was brought and mixed around for use. During the judged kazaris in years past everyone brings their own stuff. Hopefully you have had it prepared for a few months and are not on a stool in the hall closet the night before looking for a scroll you think you had.

I have around thirty scrolls in a waterproof box. Some are in wood boxes from Japan. Average price with shipping for a good scroll is about a hundred dollars. sometimes less and sometimes a lot more. The double box on the bed has a spring scroll and a winter scroll in it. I paid about 250.00 for that one.

Some scrolls I brought for Kathy to use in 2010 for her class on display.

View attachment 236339View attachment 236340View attachment 236341View attachment 236342View attachment 236343View attachment 236344
Three point display, for bonsai display, is often used for small bonsai. Large trees are shown on their own, with an accent. Small trees that are larger than Shohin are often paired together and shown with a third element, maybe a scroll or maybe an accent. These would be for trees that aren’t powerful enough to stand on their own. Shohin are typically shown in groups.

Thumb thru a Kokufu book. There’s lots of 3 point displays.
 

Smoke

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Three point display, for bonsai display, is often used for small bonsai. Large trees are shown on their own, with an accent. Small trees that are larger than Shohin are often paired together and shown with a third element, maybe a scroll or maybe an accent. These would be for trees that aren’t powerful enough to stand on their own. Shohin are typically shown in groups.

Thumb thru a Kokufu book. There’s lots of 3 point displays.
Your kidding me right, now your going to school me on three point display? Have you ever made one and had it judged by anyone you trust? Ever dome more than three with your own stuff? Not borrowed. Ever compete with twenty people for a cash prize? It's way different than throwing some trees on the table and let the people pass by.

I suspect we need a three point display- story telling exercise - forum judged display contest.
 

Adair M

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Your kidding me right, now your going to school me on three point display? Have you ever made one and had it judged by anyone you trust? Ever dome more than three with your own stuff? Not borrowed. Ever compete with twenty people for a cash prize? It's way different than throwing some trees on the table and let the people pass by.

I suspect we need a three point display- story telling exercise - forum judged display contest.
No, I was responding to your comment that you didn’t understand my comment about 3 point displays. You said my comments “make no sense”.

No, I’ve never had the opportunity to compete for a cash prize. We don’t have a significant Japanese population here, so bonsai display is “exhibition style”. I doubt there’s anyone who has a Tokonoma within 200 miles. Or has ever seen one. The closest I have ever seen a real one is at Bill Valavanis’s house in Rochester.

I put together this display at the Atlanta Bonsai Show a couple weeks ago:

926602F6-7511-444C-BF77-0FD7EF86024C.jpeg

It won Best of Show, Tyler Sherrard was the judge. Tyler apprenticed under Shinji Suzuki for 5 years, and styled a tree for one of Mr. Suzuki’s clients that won Kokufu.

I also put in this 3 point display:

0AB715A8-17C2-4EF9-939A-FBE8137FDE0C.jpeg

The lighting wasn’t so good in that part of the room. The tree on the right is an olive. Tyler said the olive is powerful enough to show on its own, in spite of its short stature. So, in his opinion, it’s not a good tree for a 3 point display.

I use little accent plants for my third point. I am totally ignorant about scrolls, and I don’t have any, so I don’t use them.

It just so happened that both the 3 point displays moved to the right.

My third display, a Japanese White Pine, moves to the left:

1FBC2675-0F8A-46B0-A4F4-D1AE1EF459D4.jpeg

My accent for this tree is a pool stone with water and a small bronze frog.
 

Smoke

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Your trees are beautiful in a tree displayed way. In this kind of display format it's all about the tree. If the tree sucks, it does't matter how well you arrange them, the display sucks.

You are showing your best work, and adding an accent for a pop of color or to tell the season . But, the displays don't say anything. I looked at my kokufu books I have and they too are wonderful tree displays but they don't say anything. They are just beautiful, which is what a tree show should be all about.

Let me counter with what I mean about lower quality trees, and maybe people not having stands and having to borrow those that were no used but were too tall for the tree. I'm not going to go so far as to say these displays suck, but this is not what I am used to seeing at this display.

DSC_0069 (2).JPG

I think in this display the juniper should be on top and the maple down in the valley. Just opinion, but it makes common sense.
DSC_0078 (2).JPG
 

Adair M

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Your trees are beautiful in a tree displayed way. In this kind of display format it's all about the tree. If the tree sucks, it does't matter how well you arrange them, the display sucks.

You are showing your best work, and adding an accent for a pop of color or to tell the season . But, the displays don't say anything. I looked at my kokufu books I have and they too are wonderful tree displays but they don't say anything. They are just beautiful, which is what a tree show should be all about.

Let me counter with what I mean about lower quality trees, and maybe people not having stands and having to borrow those that were no used but were too tall for the tree. I'm not going to go so far as to say these displays suck, but this is not what I am used to seeing at this display.

View attachment 236368

I think in this display the juniper should be on top and the maple down in the valley. Just opinion, but it makes common sense.
View attachment 236369
I can agree with you that those last displays are not as good as others I’ve seen.

As to whether my displays “told a story”, I was not attempting to tell a story. I’m showing trees, that complement each other. Nothing more. I normally would place a conifer up higher than a deciduous or broadleaf, but if I felt the deciduous tree was more dominant, the stronger tree, I might place it in a higher (taller) position.

I will also say that there’s much about the use of scrolls I am totally clueless about. Their seasonality, implied symbolism... all that stuff that’s seeped in Japanese culture. No clue. I’m aware that all that stuff is in the scrolls, but I don’t know how to read it or interpret it. Heck, I have enough trouble making nice pads! And getting my forward leans to not be ridiculous!
 

Smoke

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I can agree with you that those last displays are not as good as others I’ve seen.

As to whether my displays “told a story”, I was not attempting to tell a story. I’m showing trees, that complement each other. Nothing more.
Thanks. That was my point in the nutshell and the way most people look at the pictures I post of the Kazari. They look at the trees and comment about how nice they are and how they would move things around but not move them to tell a story, just move them to better show the tree, which is not the point. In most cases of all those displays I showed, all of them could have been improved by just removing an item. either the accent or the scroll, each would have showed better. None of them told a story, so best to show the best part of the three which is probably better showing two.

I'll show you a great example.

This Mendocino Pygmy Cypress grows only on the coast of Mendocino California. It may grow other places but so far we have not seen others as Bob and Zack Shimon are the only ones with access to the plants.

In this display the cypress is shown with a scroll and an accent piece. The scroll depicts sea birds in flight near a beach. Not easily seen in the photo since the tree obscures way too much of the scroll. To the left a statue, carving of a Japanese God of luck is exhibited. It is Bishamon, the Japanese Buddhist God of warriors and the lord of wealth and treasure. What this has to do with the scene is beyond me. I would have rather seen some sand sprinkled in a pile and a brass or copper crab there rather than this carving. But they showed with what they had. I was not there for the set up and so have no idea how they did this.

DSC_0032.JPG

If I had been teaching this class I would have explained the merits of displaying the proper accent pieces and how to tell the story, and when stumped just remove a piece and leave it out and simplify it.

The primary scroll cloth is too loud for my taste. I am waiting to hear from a poster and tell me he made it, that will explain it. It's well made just garish.

better.jpg
 

Adair M

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Thanks. That was my point in the nutshell and the way most people look at the pictures I post of the Kazari. They look at the trees and comment about how nice they are and how they would move things around but not move them to tell a story, just move them to better show the tree, which is not the point. In most cases of all those displays I showed, all of them could have been improved by just removing an item. either the accent or the scroll, each would have showed better. None of them told a story, so best to show the best part of the three which is probably better showing two.

I'll show you a great example.

This Mendocino Pygmy Cypress grows only on the coast of Mendocino California. It may grow other places but so far we have not seen others as Bob and Zack Shimon are the only ones with access to the plants.

In this display the cypress is shown with a scroll and an accent piece. The scroll depicts sea birds in flight near a beach. Not easily seen in the photo since the tree obscures way too much of the scroll. To the left a statue, carving of a Japanese God of luck is exhibited. It is Bishamon, the Japanese Buddhist God of warriors and the lord of wealth and treasure. What this has to do with the scene is beyond me. I would have rather seen some sand sprinkled in a pile and a brass or copper crab there rather than this carving. But they showed with what they had. I was not there for the set up and so have no idea how they did this.

View attachment 236391

If I had been teaching this class I would have explained the merits of displaying the proper accent pieces and how to tell the story, and when stumped just remove a piece and leave it out and simplify it.

The primary scroll cloth is too loud for my taste. I am waiting to hear from a poster and tell me he made it, that will explain it. It's well made just garish.

View attachment 236390
I’m familiar with Mendocino Cyprus (there’s at least one at Boon’s. I don’t know whose), but all that stuff about the Japanese God of War is lost on me.

I don’t have any exposure to the Japanese culture to play this game. If you do, more power to ya!
 

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The accent was too large and competed with the tree
The accent was too plant heavy with so many species
I missed this thread first time around.

That accent piece is amazing. However I agree with the judges' comments. It is too much for a display.

That doesn't stop me from admiring it and wanting it :) To me, it is extremely reminiscent of growing up in farm lands in the MidWest; the never-ending rusted barbed-wire fencing, the red-winged blackbirds sitting on the fence-posts singing. I think the accent would have been just as nice and potentially more impactful if you had limited it to just the grass (without the ground cover).

Makes me want to try something similar for a fall display with perhaps an oak or maple.

Interesting how some people associate barbed-wire with war and prison. I associate it with dairy cattle :)
 

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This does not make sense to me.



I never said he did. But the prize was 2500.00, 1000.00 and 500.00 and I have it on good authority that he felt this would be a cake walk. He was held to the same rules as everyone else. Obviously he didn't do his homework.


This was a training exercise for those interested. Most of the stuff was brought and mixed around for use. During the judged kazaris in years past everyone brings their own stuff. Hopefully you have had it prepared for a few months and are not on a stool in the hall closet the night before looking for a scroll you think you had.

I have around thirty scrolls in a waterproof box. Some are in wood boxes from Japan. Average price with shipping for a good scroll is about a hundred dollars. sometimes less and sometimes a lot more. The double box on the bed has a spring scroll and a winter scroll in it. I paid about 250.00 for that one.

Some scrolls I brought for Kathy to use in 2010 for her class on display.

View attachment 236339View attachment 236340View attachment 236341View attachment 236342View attachment 236343View attachment 236344
This does not make sense to me.



I never said he did. But the prize was 2500.00, 1000.00 and 500.00 and I have it on good authority that he felt this would be a cake walk. He was held to the same rules as everyone else. Obviously he didn't do his homework.


This was a training exercise for those interested. Most of the stuff was brought and mixed around for use. During the judged kazaris in years past everyone brings their own stuff. Hopefully you have had it prepared for a few months and are not on a stool in the hall closet the night before looking for a scroll you think you had.

I have around thirty scrolls in a waterproof box. Some are in wood boxes from Japan. Average price with shipping for a good scroll is about a hundred dollars. sometimes less and sometimes a lot more. The double box on the bed has a spring scroll and a winter scroll in it. I paid about 250.00 for that one.

Some scrolls I brought for Kathy to use in 2010 for her class on display.

View attachment 236339View attachment 236340View attachment 236341View attachment 236342View attachment 236343View attachment 236344

I’m seeIng lots of scrolls here at this site https://www.fromjapan.co.jp/en/category/hobbies-and-culture-instruments-equipment-shakuhachi/FJ3400/00080112/

Not sure why they come up in my search and I haven’t paid any attention to them cause it’s not what I’m looking for but it might be a good source for someone who does want scrolls.

I found this there a couple months back! 4424D350-AD85-4822-9D07-1D5A3B63C49D.jpeg

May not look like much but I took a big risk there and paid 120,000 yen for that stick of bamboo. Have since had it appraised to be worth 5 times that. Never gonna sell it.
 

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