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Apprenticeship, Fujikawa Kouka-en, Reflections on Bonsai

Sweet Tea and Yamadori Here I Come!

As I type this I’m surrounded by bonsai containers, scrolls, stands, tools, and about 200 pounds of books.  Time to jettison most of my clothing and other “non-essential” cargo and head back to America.  My Cultural Studies VISA ends a few days after the Taikan-ten and I’ll be back in America to teach for most of 2013.  Much like extra-terrestrials, I’ll be appearing in front of small groups of Southerners most of the time but sightings of me will occur all over America with international trips in the works.  My apprenticeship is far from over.

I’d like to thank everyone who has already confirmed study groups, private work, and exhibitions.  Winter and Spring so far is filling up with new airport codes and pit-stops.  My schedule still has openings for Spring and Summer and I’ll probably be close to you at some point.  Next year will be devoted to acquainting myself with the bonsai community, other professionals / vendors, and perhaps most important of all sharing everything I’ve learned thus-far as a horticulturalist and bonsai apprentice without reservation.

My heart belongs to Deciduous and Broad-leaf Evergreen bonsai and a few of the under-used conifers, but I love all plants
and have worked on at least 50 different species / cultivars of plant used for bonsai while at Kouka-en.  My interest in Asian plants precedes my pursuit of bonsai art and I’ve connected a lot of “dots” from normal horticultural practices and bonsai techniques used here in Japan.

 

Aside from bonsai, I’ll be teaching kusamono workshops and  helping clients with theirs’ as I’ve spent a number of years propagating and producing perennials and annuals at the commercial level.  The art of kusamono has sucked me in like a vortex and much of my oh-so-rare free time is spent studying both old and new forms.

Also sitting next to me is a stack of memory cards full of bonsai projects and day trip pics to cultural sites with stories behind all of them, so the blog will continue on.

There will also be coverage of work on Western hemisphere native species, bonsai community events, and other happenings all over America in the future.  I’d like to take a moment to support the efforts of the people and organizations I’ve added to my blogroll.  Consistent quality posts on the world of bonsai are not easy to come up with; let alone while committing you life to apprenticeship or a full-time job.  To all those who’ve contacted me with supportive messages, constructive criticism, and confirmed teaching stops, THANK YOU.  Apprenticeship is a mental marathon and your support does mean a lot.

I’d also like to thank my family, my sensei Keiichi Fujikawa, Bjorn Bjorholm, and my sempai Naoki Maeoka for all their help so far.  Couldn’t have gotten this far without them.

I’ve never been so happy or focused on my goals.  Hard not to smile when surrounded by so much beauty and quality bonsai.  I will miss Japan and the people who make up the bonsai community here during my time in America, but look forward to helping the other bonsai professionals in our efforts to raise quality standards and enjoyment levels in America.

 

Time to quit ducking as I enter doorways and guessing what I’m about to eat for a while!  Feel free to contact me through this blog, Facebook, or LinkedIn.  Sweet tea and yamadori here I come!

Thanks for reading, lots of posts to come after the Taikan-ten.  A gallery of Taikan-ten 2012 photos soon to come…..

 

 

3 comments

  1. Wm. N. Valavanis - November 20, 2012 2:00 pm

    You do Sweet Tea too??????? You mean there another one of “US” I only do Sweet tea from McDonalds, but if desperate will take any brand…

    Reply
  2. big DAVE - November 24, 2012 6:36 pm

    I hear the excitement …good luck to you Owen

    Let me know if I can assist you in any way

    –Big Dave

    Reply
    • Owen - February 16, 2013 7:43 pm

      Thanks. About to start posting again on this blog….. The craziness of moving home and getting settled is over now :)

      Reply

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