Author Topic: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????  (Read 8238 times)

nathanbs

  • Sr. Forum Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2011, 02:16 PM »
I thought of the Japanese white pine and decided to leave that alone :)
I guess my idea was that it is a bad habit that could/should be changed. "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." I was trying to be a resource of information to influence a change in the direction of what i thought to be correct from incorrect.
As I write this i realize that to call a chinese juniper shimpaku is definitely not wrong just maybe too general.
I bet as the popularity of japanese juniper cultivars continues to grow so will the usage of their specific nicknames. I am willing to bet in the next 10 years Kishu and Itoigawa will be referred to by those names without the mention of shimpaku. Ill leave it that. Thank you for entertaining my question.
 

cbobgo

  • Full Forum Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 182
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2011, 06:26 PM »
In Japan do they call Japanese Maples "Japanese Maples" or do they just call them Maples?  And why would that matter what we call them elsewhere?

Same goes for junipers.  The Japanese can call junipers whatever they want in Japanese.  In the Western world, Shimpaku means a subset of junipers with a particular type of foliage that is desirable for bonsai.  It's not a taxonomic name, it's a descriptive name that lets us know what we are talking about.

- bob
 

nathanbs

  • Sr. Forum Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2011, 07:01 PM »
In Japan do they call Japanese Maples "Japanese Maples" or do they just call them Maples?  And why would that matter what we call them elsewhere?

Same goes for junipers.  The Japanese can call junipers whatever they want in Japanese.  In the Western world, Shimpaku means a subset of junipers with a particular type of foliage that is desirable for bonsai.  It's not a taxonomic name, it's a descriptive name that lets us know what we are talking about.

- bob

I think i have already come to this conclusion, but thank you for your input anyways
 

Elliott

  • Full Forum Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 146
Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2011, 10:53 PM »
I agree with Nathan. I guess in my circles, people are commonly grafting itoigawa or kishu onto California or prostrata or whatever, so I get pretty interested in the specific type. Most people refer to my favorite specie of tree as "oak" but I immediately ask or look to see if it is live, scrub, holly, valley, etc. If someone tells me they like "shimpaku" as their favorite bonsai material, I will wonder do they mean junipers in general or are they referring to kishu?
 It may sound anal retentive to be so specific like that, but I think getting detailed like that is a step closer to reaching the level of trees they have in Japan. We can certainly have our own western style, but we won't reach their level until we take things a little more serious.. Like Ryan Neal said, most of the trees you see in shows here would not come near the Japanese standard.
 I realize how we refer to junipers wont improve a specific tree, but it goes to our mindset to strive to a higher level. I think in the future, we will see a trend to be more specific with our terminology.
 Now, if only I can get people to stop saying "Banzai"......... LOL
 

John Kirby

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2216
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • I really need an opposable thumb...
Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2011, 08:29 AM »
Elliott,
In my circle we graft the various shimpaku regional variants on to RMJ, Western, California, San Jose, Prostrata, etc Junipers too. However, these are purported local variants. Typically we all graft clones generated by cuttings for approach or scions for side veneer or cleft or whatever. Not all of the material is uniform, some so called itoigawa (or should that be itoikawa?) look coarse like tohaku but light green, some kishu looks fine like itoigawa but with dark green color. If you check the threads here, I post those trees that are obviously itoigawa as itoigawa shimpaku, kishu as kishu shimpaku. I have hundreds of both, but even our friends in japan call shimpakus Shimpaku. How is this going to improve bonsai in the West? Make really good bonsai, that is how to improve bonsai in the west. Learn what a good tree is, how to wire, how to manage foliage, how to take the best qualities of a tree and make them  and the rest of the tree better and how to keep the tree growing well, healthy and happy.

I guess I would say, don't waste your time by dozens or even hundreds of crappy trees, "to get experience", learn, work with really good people and have a few trees of the highest standards, whether bought or collected or both, and work as hard and intelligently on your trees like the Japanese Bonsai Professionals do. then you can have trees as good as the Japanese. And you can call them Bob if you want to.
 

Elliott

  • Full Forum Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 146
Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2011, 09:15 AM »
I think this is all got to complicated.  to say i have grafted shimpacu onto my juniper like I hear all the time means I grafted juniper onto my juniper, which is redundant. Untill a couple of years ago, I thought shimpacu WAS a kind of juniper. For ME using correct terms go hand in hand with making better trees.
  The reason my skills got better when I started using the correct term was because I started to hang out with and now study from artists who have superlative skils and material and they dont say "shimpacu juniper" they may say "Shimpacu" or "kishu shimpacu" or just "kishu" saying kishu shimpacu is like saying "jin dead branch"
 Like I said, for me, proper terms goes to the mindset I need to make better trees. Like proper wiring, fertilizing, etc. Im just emulating what the people around me who have the best trees do.
 Lets just let this topic go. I didnt even have junipers untill 2 yrs ago! Im a broedleaf guy. If anyone has awesome trees, good for them no matter what they call them! I just choose to use the proper translation. Thanks hearing my 2 cents. 
 

John Kirby

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2216
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • I really need an opposable thumb...
Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2011, 11:40 AM »
Go get em. I'm going to call mine "Bob the Shimpaku".
 

jtucker

  • Jr. Forum Member
  • **
  • Posts: 84
Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2011, 12:59 PM »
The very nature of language is to communicate meaning, in this case, to identify a couple different varietals/subspecies of juniper. I could call a juniper "red crayon" and if we all agreed that "red crayon" was the term used to identify a juniper, then "red crayon" will have done its job.

In the United States, the general agreement is that "shimpaku juniper" represents a group of chinese junipers with similar characteristics that many people find pleasing to work with as bonsai. For further differentiation, we adopted the names that have been used in Japan; kishu, itoigawa, etc.

It's not about science, or what the Japanese do, or tradition or even whether Master Naka was right or wrong. It's about communication, plain and simple. When I say shimpaku juniper, or kishu shimpaku, you understand the meaning of those words and know the plants to which I refer. The terminology has done its job.

It seems like a similar argument to the use of Japanese terms to describe tree styles. It's good to study the meaning of the word chokkan to get an understanding of what the Japanese tried to convey when they first named that style with that word. However, insisting on always calling a formal upright "chokkan" in English speaking circles is just silly because it unnecessarily complicates the communication and confuses people who don't speak Japanese.

So even though our terminology may be "incorrect," from what Matsu and Kirby are saying, so is the Japanese terminology, scientifically speaking. Why not use the incorrect terminology that most people in your country will understand? If you hang out with a bunch of Japanese bonsai artists, then feel free to use their terminology when speaking in Japanese...
 

nathanbs

  • Sr. Forum Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2011, 03:39 PM »
i get it i get it no need to beat it in my head. You/us/we are set in our ways. But as long as we call this art bonsai (japanese for tree in tray/pot) why not respect the Japanese when they are telling us we are doing and/or saying something incorrect. I think they would listen to us if they were saying or doing something wrong with the game of basketball. Thats it.  I tried, I failed, now back to The American art of dwarf trees
 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2011, 04:32 PM »
I think perhaps go back and read Owen's reply.  He seems to have knowledge directly from Japan.
 

nathanbs

  • Sr. Forum Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2011, 05:18 PM »
What? do I read that correctly? Just because i'm Herman nobody the Japanese bonsai artists whether they are Nisei or Isei that have told me stop referring to it as just shimpaku because its too general are wrong? Give me a break.
 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2011, 05:21 PM »
I just happened to be flipping through Kobayashi's book.  It seems the term "shimpaku" was used a total of 3 times, with 2 different spellings.  I guess the translator should fall on his sword in disgrace.    ;D
 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2011, 05:23 PM »
What? do I read that correctly? Just because i'm Herman nobody the Japanese bonsai artists whether they are Nisei or Isei that have told me stop referring to it as just shimpaku because its too general are wrong? Give me a break.

No.  I do think however their meaning may have been lost on you.  What I suspect they meant was "itoigawa shimpaku" may be shortened to "itoigawa".  But, as John Kirby was so kind to point out, the regional differences are so minute that it is often very difficult to accurately label them as such.  As has been said, "shimpaku" is relatively safe.  If others are so anal to correct, then let them.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2011, 05:32 PM by MatsuBonsai »
 

nathanbs

  • Sr. Forum Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2011, 05:33 PM »
I just happened to be flipping through Kobayashi's book.  It seems the term "shimpaku" was used a total of 3 times, with 2 different spellings.  I guess the translator should fall on his sword in disgrace.    ;D

 :) out of curiosity what was the more common term used in his book?
 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: i have a question???? Whats your opinion????
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2011, 05:38 PM »
Juniperus chinensis var. Sargentii.  Perhaps a safer approach, but just as broad.  It's quite a mouthful.  I'll stick with shimpaku for the generic of the species unless traveling to Japan.  Then, I'll just point and motion towards the tree in question.