“Omoshiroi” means “funny” or “interesting” in Japanese. It can be used to convey respect or mockery – which makes it a useful term for bonsai.
During a Bay Island Bonsai workshop hosted by Daisaku Nomoto, I brought in a red pine forest I’d grown from seed. Nomoto found the grove to be omoshiroi. He took some interest in the forest, insisting that I bend two of the trunks down and remove a large branch from the main tree. He wasn’t concerned about the unorthodox character of the composition or the lack of taper – the forest was omoshiroi. I asked if I should wire the rest of the branches – Nomoto didn’t think they needed it. The branches didn’t need a lot of attention because carefully detailed branches wouldn’t match the unusual trunks. I thinned new shoots to one pair per branch and removed the old needles.
Red pine forest – before cutback
I’ll wire a few of the main branches when I decandle later this spring. It looks like this forest might be my best candidate for next year’s BIB exhibit, but it’s too early to tell just yet. I’ll know more in fall when the summer growth fills in.
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