Yatsufusa / Yatsubusa?

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Is there such a thing as a Yatsubusa Japanese Black Pine? Is this just a misspelled Yatsufusa, or a completely different variety?
 

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Hmmmm well let me see if Brent can shine some light on the subject. I only see "Yatsufusa" on Japanese sites...
 

kakejiku

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I can not know based upon not having the characters...however, I can tell you that the fu, pu and bu can sometimes be replaceable pronunciations in Japanese. For example, in measurements for scrolls there is a Hachibun 八分 which is pronounced with the bu, but the same characters to denote time 8 minutes is pronounced Happun 八分. So there may be different pronunciations in different regions of the country for the same characters of the same tree...Just my 2 cents on Japanese language and not bonsai in particular.
 

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The term "yatsubusa" refers to many types of dwarf cultivars.
 

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Inn fact a google search shows junipers, spruce, elm, maples, pines and quince.
 

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Here's what Brent had to say on the subject:

I read the replies on the forum, and I agree with the posters. The basic problem is translation from Kanji which is characters with a lot of room for differences in pronunciation and the translation is by necessity phonetic. I have not seen the alternate spelling, but I would be willing to bet that that is all that it is.

The much more serious problem is that until relatively recently, Japanese bonsai masters and practitioners did not pay much attention to strict botanical naming. Thus names like "yatsubusa" and I suspect "sango kaku", and others did not refer to a specific cultivar, but rather a class of trees with similar characteristics, yatsubusa being the dwarf classification. Thus there are probably a couple of genetically separate individuals out there parading as Pinus thunbergii 'Yatsubusa', as I believe I mention in my catalog. I suspect the same is true for some other "cultivars" with Japanese names. As time progresses, the ones with better characteristics get selected and those that don't come up to muster get weeded out or renamed, but this is a very slow process. Of course, the only real way to tell the difference between them is with PCR, but we aren't there yet in the nursery world.
 

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