Author Topic: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????  (Read 8276 times)

nathanbs

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i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« on: October 02, 2011, 04:10 PM »
Why is it that here in North America we refer to a specific type of juniper as shimpaku? Shimpaku means juniper in Japanese, referring to all types of juniper. Its confusing to say the least. I think we should start referring to junipers by the varietal name, like kishu or itiogawa, just like we do with prostrata, california, rocky mountain, procumbens, etc.
If you went to Japan and said i want to buy shimpaku, they would look at you a little confused as thats such a broad description. It would be like going to a restaurant and saying i want beef steak. Whats your opinion?
 

Owen Reich

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Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2011, 11:54 PM »
Byakushim is the word for "Juniper" in Japan.  The word shim-paku us exclusively a bonsai term (shim meaning "trust, really, or true" and paku comes from "haku" which is a type of oak when the kanji is used alone.  When used with shim-, haku becomes paku referring to "shohaku" which is what all evergreens are called.  So, loosely translated, shimpaku means:  real or typical juniper.  It's a little gray.  I actually asked about the meaning a week or so ago.  In reference to the different types, Itoigawa Shimpaku (it's the name of a river; Itoi-Kawa) came almost exclusively from two mountains (Mt. Kurohime and Myojo) in Nigata Prefecture.  Kishu has a little more gray history; Eastern Mia Prefecture, Nara, and Wakayama Prefecture.  Kishu can be more blue or green.  Tohoku can be blue or green but usually blue with larger foliage and the foliage is usually switched for Itoigawa.   Hokkaido shimpaku is from Hokkaido Island and similar to Tohoku but with a little better foliage for bonsai and generally blue but I've heard the foliage color is influenced by pH, soil type, etc.  People here generally don't split hairs on the regional variety unless they are certain of a given bonsai's whole history.  The big division in bonsai here is if a shimpaku is Itoigawa or not as they are easier to spot and good Itoigawa foliage types have been isolated and propagated due to the ease in styling desirable pads.  That's what I just learned.
 

nathanbs

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Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2011, 10:03 AM »
Owen thanks for the info. I remember the first i read of this was when i read Bonsai techniques by John Naka and his descriptions with his pictures called junipers, shimpakus.  He would call a California Juniper something like Shimpaku California. I have several Japanese bonsai teachers and they always correct me when I call kishu shimpaku just by the name of shimpaku. They say just to refer to it as Kishu and stop using the word shimpaku.  ???
 

AlexV

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Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2011, 12:33 PM »
I think it is useful to use shimpaku, if only because all locality varietals are just minor variations on Juniperus chinensis var. Sargentii.  While they have slightly different foliage colors and growth habit, most of their properties related to care are relatively similar, such as water, soil, fertilizer, when to prune, when to style etc.  I think it is great to use the locality name when you know it, or if you specifically want the properties of one of the localities when shopping, but to insist everyone use the locality names, especially when most don't actually know the differences, seems extreme.  Hell, if I could get these midwesterners to stop calling junipers red cedars I would call it a win.

Alex
 

nathanbs

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Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2011, 12:47 PM »
I think it is useful to use shimpaku, if only because all locality varietals are just minor variations on Juniperus chinensis var. Sargentii.  While they have slightly different foliage colors and growth habit, most of their properties related to care are relatively similar, such as water, soil, fertilizer, when to prune, when to style etc.  I think it is great to use the locality name when you know it, or if you specifically want the properties of one of the localities when shopping, but to insist everyone use the locality names, especially when most don't actually know the differences, seems extreme.  Hell, if I could get these midwesterners to stop calling junipers red cedars I would call it a win.

Alex

Ok I see your point, baby steps. Fortunately i think in california we are one small step ahead of that.  However im not trying to insist on people to use the local varietal name i just think we should stop generalizing the name when we are only referring to one type of juniper.  It would be more appropriate to call it Chinensis or Sargentii than shimpaku.
 

John Kirby

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Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2011, 06:32 PM »
I think I will just call them Shimpaku.
 

nathanbs

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Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2011, 06:58 PM »
so what exactly are you referring to when you say shimpaku? ??? Califonia, procumbens nana, kishu, itoigawa, or other?
 

John Kirby

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Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2011, 08:02 AM »
Shimpaku is as Shimpaku does.
 

nathanbs

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Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2011, 10:06 AM »
ok fair enough. Lets call a horse a mammal instead of a horse
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2011, 10:25 AM »
It sounds an awful lot like you're trying to confuse an issue where there is no confusion.  Aside from old literature that mislabeled other species, I think bonsai people all know what you are referring to when you say "shimpaku".

If you really want to spend time and energy on non-issue, more power to you.  I'm with Kirby.  Shimpaku is shimpaku.  My time is better spent on real issues.

Good luck in your quest.
 

rockm

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Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2011, 10:30 AM »
Unless you're dealing with a lot of Japanese juniper dealers, what's the point of being so precise with Japanese terminology?

The instructors are being a bit rigid. The terminology used in Japan is hardly precise biologically. It's tied to geographic locations, not species. Using local Japanese geography to define what we call a plant in North American circles is a bit convoluted.

Call it what you want...
 

nathanbs

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Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2011, 12:15 PM »
Look if this something that the bonsai community is set on for whatever reason, and like Matsu called it a non issue, Ill let it rest here.  I just wanted to #1 inform that something we have been doing for probably 2 1/2 decades is slightly wrong and misleading and #2 see if anyone was interested in correcting the generalization.  But it certainly appears that at least some of you on here are content with calling a specific species or 2 or 3 or even 4 of juniper by the broad name shimpaku, which literally just means juniper. I will carry on Nakas and few other American based bonsai artists teaching that shimpaku is Japanese for the genus juniper, not a species of juniper.  In years to come we will see other varietals of juniper from Japan in addition to Kishu and Itoigawa and it will only get more confusing when trying to discuss them.
 

nathanbs

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Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2011, 12:19 PM »
Matsu, to clarify are you saying Naka mislabeled the junipers in his text?
 

John Kirby

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Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2011, 12:59 PM »
Shimpaku is one of the terms used to id Junipers, as are  Tosho and Sonare.
Lets not get into a taxonomy debate about the Chinese Junipers, they are a mess and represent something of a conundrum to taxonomists. If you say Chinese Juniper what do you mean? The Chinese junipers are a highly diverse taxon (set of taxons?)  that can hybridize readily with other "species" to include Juniperus sabina (one of the Hybrids is the Pfitzer juniper). Further, many individuals that were once thought to be conspecifics are now being split down in to "new species' , for example, based on DNA evidence:

118 (April 2011) 93(1)
SYSTEMATICS OF JUNIPERUS CHINENSIS AND J. TSUKUSIENSIS FROM JAPAN AND TAIWAN: DNA SEQUENCING AND TERPENOIDS.
Robert P. Adams
Biology Department, Baylor University, Box 97388, Waco, TX
76798, USA, Robert_Adams@baylor.edu
Chang-Fu Hsieh
Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, National Taiwan University
Taipei 106, Taiwan
Jin Murata
Botanical Gardens, Koishikawa, Graduate School of Science,
The University of Tokyo, 3-7-1 Hakusan, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-0001, Japan
and
Andrea E. Schwarzbach
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Texas at Brownsville, Brownsville, TX 78520, USA.
ABSTRACT
Analyses of nrDNA, petN-psbM, trnD-trnT and trnS-trnG revealed that Juniperus chinensis var. tsukusiensis and J. c. var. taiwanensis are not conspecific with J. chinensis. In addition, analyses of the leaf oils (terpenoids) also revealed numerous differences. Based on these new data, J. c. var. tsukusiensis is recognized as J. tsukusiensis Masam. and J. c. var. taiwanensis as J. tsukusiensis var. taiwanensis (R. P. Adams and C-F. Hsieh) R. P. Adams, comb. nov. Phytologia 93(1): 118-131 (April 1, 2011).

This is very similar to the debate about Pinus pentaphylla vs Pinus parviflora where I expect that DNA evidence will support the combination of the two types in to the common species Pinus parviflora Sub parviflora and Pinus parviflora sub pentaphylla, and the continued sublimation of Pinus himekantsu into Pinus parviflora.

T Businsky, R.(2004)  A revision of the Asian Pinus subsection Strobus (Pinaceae). – Willdenowia 34: 209-
257. – ISSN 0511-9618;

So like I said, a Shimpaku is a Shimpaku, I don't want to even think about what will happen if they ever get around to SNP analysis of the variants we like to use as bonsai.
John
« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 01:01 PM by John Kirby »
 

John Kirby

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Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2011, 01:40 PM »
On your question, was Naka wrong, no. But ask 99% of western bonsai folks what a Shimpaku is and they will get it right.

The Naka books are a great aid in getting the feel for bonsai, however, many of the things he teaches have been replaced by more modern and effective techniques. He had a great eye and a wonderful ability to communicate with others while teaching. However, while I frequently go back and look at both Volumes, I remember that they are dated and represent the very best of western bonsai at that time. A lot has changed since the 60's and 70's and while we should respect those that came before, we need to move forward with the information and resources that we now have available.