Three Maples

I took a few record snaps of these 3 maples yesterday. All 3 were defoliated back in the Spring.

Chuhin Japanese Maple

Kifu Trident Maple

Shohin Japanese Maple

3 comments on “Three Maples

  1. is Kifu not between shohin and chuhin ?? surely that trident is a fairly big tree ??
    they all look very well !! lots of nice maples throughout the UK lost following the last 2 winters !!


    • Sizes confuse me a tad to be honest. Everything I read contradicts! Some don’t have Kifu at all. I have done a bit more googling this morning and have come to the decision that no one agrees on this at all. The Japanese Maple above, that I have called Chuhin, is 28 cm tall and could be called Kifu or Chuhin. The Trident is 48cm tall and, as you say would be better called Chuhin as well. However it could also be called Katade-mochi! There seems to be about 3 different size classification for Bonsai out there. Considering how complicated bonsai is, this doesn’t surprise me! 🙂 I think I’ll just stick to calling the Trident ‘Stratford’ to differentiate it from the others 😀 Might be worth a post on the blog about this 😉


  2. I sympathise with what you say !! I was lucky enough to win best Kifu at the N.Trophy a few years back with a P. densiflora that I thought was shohin , talking to Marco about it later he claimed to have never heard of Kifu despite his time in Japan ! many years ago in B.Today there was an interesting article that had been taken from Kinbon, where a few Japanese masters got together to discuss what constituted bunjin style , the consensus seemed to me, at least, to be that a tree had to ” feel ” like a bunjin to the viewer !!!! never mind thinking about style criteria , I think the size issue is a bit like that as well , no matter what a tape measure says, the bonsai has to ” feel ” like a shohin , chuhin or whatever , John Armitage reports that he has never seen a tape measure used in shohin bonsai shows in Japan , they are more interested in just enjoying the trees than worrying about size , of course , the other side to that is that I suppose generally folk know what is appropriate for each show and what it not !! I good example is bunjin style in the shohin category , this style of bonsai can be still shohin and yet be much taller than the 22 or 25 cms height limit !! alternatively I believe that a tree that in all respects seems ” big ” can be within the height limit for chuhin and yet not really be appropriate for the category .
    confusing ? perhaps just to western minds !!!


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