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Gomangoku 五万石盆栽展 (Daiju-en show) 2011

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

Last week was the Gomangoku Show that the Daiju-en family puts on almost every year.  At this show, Daiju-en and many of it’s former apprentices came together to put a show on to promote the family.  If you don’t know Daiju-en, they are one of the most famous Bonsai groups in Japan.  They are mostly known for famous Black Pines but do work on other trees as well.   I was fortunate enough to be there to experience the setup, show, and tear down of the event (like I had a choice ;o).  The show was held on November 4-6th with the setup day on the 3rd.  In this post I will sharing the setup process and the show itself.  I would have to say that of all the shows I’ve set up in the past, this show was the most tiring because there was so much to do and the trees weren’t exactly light either.  It was a great experience though and a lot of fun.  I have a lot of pictures for this one so here we go.

Whats a show without trees for sale?

Preparations at Daiju-en

Once we were done with out show and sale tree preparations, we headed to Daiju-en to help them prep all of their show trees.

Off to the facility for setup

Once all of the show prep was finished, it was time to get everything to the facility and start the show setup.  There was so many things going on at the same time during the setup up but it all went smoothy because everybody worked hard and knew what needed to be done.  Since everybody was my senior, I did a lot of running around all day.


Once we got the show set up, we all went back to Daiju-en to have dinner and finish making the show programs.  It was a very long day and that night, I don’t think anybody really got enough sleep.  We woke up early the next morning and headed off to the show. Mr. Tanaka asked if I was sleepy and I said yes.  He said good, this is the experiences that you need as an apprentice.  Looking back now, I wouldn’t trade the experiences for anything.  I didn’t photograph every tree so the following pictures are only a small part of the show.  There was about 65 displays total at the show.

Well there you go.  Gomangoku brought straight to your homes.  I didn’t get any pictures of the tear down of the show because everybody was just in a mad rush.  I wish I was able to take more photos to show the camaraderie of the Daiju-en group but just didn’t have my camera with me at all times.  Other times, I didn’t have enough time to take a picture even if I wanted.  After the tear down and the drive back to Daiju-en, we unloaded everything and had dinner together.  I could see the happiness on Mr. Suzuki face with all his former apprentices around him.  I’d compare it to having your kids home for Christmas.  Everybody was tired after dinner and we all ended up sitting in the living room watching a baseball play off game on TV together.  It was the final game of the Dragons and the Swallows.  The Dragons is the local team so we were all cheering for them.  We watched and cheered when the last out occurred and the Dragons won 2-1, winning the championship and heading to the world series in Japan.  What a fitting end to a great show.

Thanks for reading

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