明治25年の改訂版 定価 \28,000円 + 税
Bijutsu Bonsai Zu: Limited edition (500), historically faithful reproductions of 3 Meiji era bonsai exhibition catalogues using traditional Japanese woodblock printing techniques
Bonsai can transport the viewer to far off worlds without the slightest movement. Yet bonsai culture and cultivation offer many other pleasures. The slow, careful walk down a row of pots. The patient selection of technique. The smell of earth and the rasp of scissors. These are not the amusements of bonsai novices, but the loves of seasoned bonsai growers the world over who are always seeking to better understand their craft.
Now, 4th generation master of the Seiko-en Bonsai Nursery, Tomio Yamada, together with world renowned Japanese woodblock printing artist, Keizaburo Matsuzaki have created an unprecedented opportunity for a new look into the past of bonsai culture and tradition.
Bijutsu Bonsai Zu is a meticulously faithful reproduction of the three volumes of Bijutsu Bonsai Zu, originally printed in 1892 to commemorate exhibitions held in Meji era Tokyo.
Careful study of the text can transport the holder to a time and place where the modern bonsai spirit was still being forged. The classical Chinese calligraphy that opens the book strikes at the essence of the text: to make the garden beautiful. A wide variety of styles of bonsai and display techniques can be seen through the pages marked with the names of nurseries long closed and remembered in few other places. Among these is even a rhododendron bonsai set atop a high stand from the Okaku-en Bonsai Nursery, now known as Seiko-en.
Bijutsu Bonsai Zu has been a labor of love to produce. Every aspect of the text was carefully crafted using techniques and materials of the day with each page hand pressed over a woodblock carving. The printing has been limited to 500 copies and will make a truly unique addition to any bonsai enthusiasts collection.
Mukaigaoka Shinsen Hall exhibition and the neighborhood of Negishi in the heart of Meiji era Tokyo During the Edo and Meiji periods a spring in the highlands of Ueno spilled out, forming the Otonashi Rivier, which flowed down in to the picturesque neighborhood of Neghishi. It was here, in this small world that freshwater sculpin and fireflies played in the summer and where people built their vacation homes. Throughout the area literati and artists made their homes among the marbled bamboo hedges, far different from the cold stone walls that surrounded homes in more urban areas. Japanese nightingales wintered here, giving rise to the area’s current name, Uguisudani, Nightingale Valley. In this setting the first master of the Seiko-en Bonsai Nusery, Shonosuke Yamada, opened the Okei-en Bonsai Nursery (鶯谿園), which was later renamed under the second generation master, Goro Yamada. The change was in part because a nearby bonsai nursery, Otani-en (大谷園), was established with a name whose Chinese characters could be read in a similar way. However the main inspiration for the change were the plum trees growing along the Otonashi river. Moved by the beauty and fragrance of the blossoms, Goro selected the Chinese characters for purity 清 and scent 香 to form the name Seiko-en (清香園). Bonsai, one of Japanese culture’s most cherished traditions, has today become a global phenomenon, a green messenger of peace to the world. And so it is with my deepest hopes that I have sought to recreate the popular historical text Bijutsu Bonsai Zu, an illustrated collection of bonsai art, as a lasting record left to future generations. Here the three original texts have been combined into a single collection. It was by good fortune that I came to possess the wood block prints used to make the 1892 Bijutsu Bonsai Zu, and furthermore that these included a rhododendron bonsai on display from the Okei-en days of our nursery. Therefore, it is also in part that this endeavor is meant to show my respect for my ancestors. Finally, the production of this text could not have been possible without the tremendous cooperation and contribution made by woodblock printing artist Keizaburo Matsuzaki of the Arakawa Ward. I wish to offer my most heartfelt thanks and appreciation for his help in making this endeavor possible.
Seiko-en Bonsai Nursery
Formerly Okoku-en Bonsai Nursery
Fourth Generation Master