This year’s Kokufu exhibition featured a special display of books and posters from early exhibits.
Posters from early Kokufu exhibitions
I only glanced at the posters on my first visit to the show before quickly moving on to the next display.
On my second pass through the exhibit, I looked closely at the tree displayed next to these posters, and gasped when I read the information card. The tree had been displayed at the first Kokufu exhibition held in March, 1934.
Ezo spruce displayed at the inaugural Kokufu exhibit in 1934
To the tree’s left, a book from this first exhibit showed how the tree looked 86 years ago.
Photo from Kokufu 1
If it seems improbable that this is the same tree, here’s a close-up of the first branch.
Unmistakable first branch
The pot too deserves some attention as it’s unlike the other pots in the exhibit. I don’t know what kind of pot it is, but it’s clear that it’s old.
I wanted to begin my reports from the 94th Kokufu exhibit with this tree to underscore how important age is at exhibits like the Kokufu-ten. The trees all bear signs of age, as do the containers and stands.
Later this week, I’ll share photos of the prize winners – eight extraordinary bonsai that express both age and beauty.
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