Inspiration from Nature, Japanese Maple

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

Inspiration from Nature, Japanese Maple


Recently I took a visiting apprentice by the name of Lieuwe (from The Netherlands) to Nagoya Castle to look around.  I’ve been there many times and thought that I’ve seen it all.  It wasn’t till after we toured the castle that Lieuwe pointed out a group of Japanese Maples growing in the courtyard that caught his attention.  I must have walked by them more than a dozen times and never even realize they were there.  In a way, I felt embarrassed because it should have been something I spotted the first time I was there.  I guess it’s better late than never and I have Lieuwe to thank.  In this post, I’m going to share some interesting photos of these old Japanese maples and some characteristics they posses that we might normally not see.  We can learn from these trees and perhaps if not already, incorporate them into our Japanese maple Bonsai design.

First Time Around


My first impression and thought was, “what is this??”  After a closer look, it turned out to be a group of Japanese maples and my next though was, “wow, they have individual pads and they are very flat.”






After I took these photos, Lieuwe and I walked around other parts of the compound and left for lunch.  It was the end of July during that time and it was hot and raining.


Second Go Around

When we got back home, I quickly showed the photos to Mr. Tanaka to see what his thoughts were.  At first, I thought that the Maples were pruned that way, but Mr. Tanaka quickly said that that’s how old branches grow on Japanese Maples.

For the following weeks, I thought about those Japanese maples and wished I got more photos.  The photos I did get sat in my computer for the time being until I could get more to write a decent post. 😉

So it wasn’t till the middle of August that I was able to get back to Nagoya Castle and get a few more shots of the trees.  Lieuwe at this point has already gone back to The Netherlands.  This time around, we have a new visiting apprentice by the name of Matej from Slovenia.  Mr. Tanaka and I took him to the Castle and it was my chance to get more pictures!