Updated: Oct 8
Since the last couple of post I’ve wrote as been pretty heavy on Bonsai, I thought I’d lighten it up this time around. As I scrolled through the photos I’ve taken this last month, I’ve decided to pool some of the random ones out and share them with you. Also, I’ll touch upon some of the things I did during, “Golden Week,” in Japan, plus a little R&R time with a customer.
Golden Week happens every year in Japan and is pretty much a group of holidays lumped together into about 9 days during the end of April and the beginning of May. This is also the time of year where many workers get paid vacation or at least take it a little easy. I was sitting in the workshop when Mr. Tanaka pointed out the Golden Week dates, then quickly added that Golden Week is meaningless to Bonsai professionals because we work everyday (awwww…). If you would like to know a bit more details about Golden Week in general you can click here to visit our good friends at Wikipedia. Here are some of the things I did during that week.
One Saturday morning I was sitting in the workshop drinking a cup of coffee when Mr. Tanaka walks in and says, “Let’s go!” I quickly got up to leave and it turns out we were going to a big annual antique show. For those that recognize the building, it’s the same building that Meifu-ten is held in.
What’s A Monkey Park?
During the last days of Golden week, I was sitting with Mr. Tanaka during Breakfast just like any other day and he says, “Today we’re taking the children to the Monkey park and you’re coming too.” I was like, “um… What’s a monkey park?”
It turns out it’s a childrens theme park that is half primate preserve and half amusement park.
It’s Not Always Bonsai Work with the Customer, Though it is Still Work
In Japan, sometimes the customer will invite us out to do different thing from a evening dinner to a special activity such as fishing. It’s sort of their way of saying thank you for all the work we’ve done for them. It doesn’t stop there though, because there’s a much deeper meaning to the invite. It’s a combination of friendship and their feelings of obligation to take care of the bonsai artist that makes Bonsai available to the public. This was Mr. Tomomatsu’s way of supporting the art community and motivating us to continue what we do. It’s sort of a support your local art program type of thing.
Since invitations from customers have such a deep meaning, we as proffessionals (and apprentices) have an obligation to accept and to enjoy what the customer is giving us. When the customer sees that we’re having a good time, they are even more satisfied and happy.
So Mr. Tanaka and I got up at 3am, and by 5:30am we were out in the open seas fishing with Mr. Tomomatsu, Mr. Fujiwara and Mr. Tanaka (the weekday helper at Aichien).
Well, there you have it. A little bit more of the things I’m doing in Japan. It’s mostly work for sure but we get to have fun here and there. Thanks for coming along for the ride!
Thanks for reading.