The story of the Shimpaku Juniper

Shohin Bonsai Europe - Morten Albek

It´s Secret History

(English Translation © WBFF 2003; Original Japanese Text and Photos © Kindai Shuppan Co. 2003). Brought at Shohin-Bonsai Europe with permission. Header photo from Mansei-en, by Morten Albek.

Behind the story. The original story was lost on the internet, but due to steady work Brian Van Fleet succeeded to rebuild the story and track down lost photos. The story was then republished at Brians Nebari Bonsai website.1-1

It is astonishing to realize that the Shimpaku juniper so beloved for bonsai culture was first found only a little more than a century ago in Japan. But in that short time, due to overcollecting, the Shimpaku growing in the wild have vanished!

When and where were the Shimpaku discovered? Who collected them from the mountain cliffs and how did they do it? What happened over those 100 years to these collected masterpieces? Do any Japanese bonsai nurseries still have collected…

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