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The Shimpaku Juniper: Its Secret History


(English Translation © WBFF 2003;
Original Japanese Text and Photos © Kindai Shuppan Co. 2003)

image of juniper shari

Editor's Note: 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 Shimpaku for sale today?

These and many other "secrets" about the Shimpaku are revealed in the fascinating article that is being published on this website. This article was written by Kazuki Yamanaka and recently published in Japanese in the June 2003 issue of Kindai Bonsai Magazine. Due to a generous donation from Daizo Iwasaki, WBFF's Vice-Chairman, WBFF obtained permission from the publisher to translate the article into English and publish it on the WBFF website. We thank Ikuyo Shisaka for her sensitive and faithful translation of the original Japanese text into English. The English text has been edited for the benefit of non-Japanese readers and reordered for a more chronological presentation.

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