General Category > Shohin Bonsai Discussion

Count Yorinaga Matsudaira Born Dec 10, 1874


Count Yorinaga Matsudaira was a noted collector of miniature bonsai, and served as honorary president of the Kofuku Bonsai Association. His collection eventually reached a thousand specimens, but many were destroyed after his death (1944 I think) in World War II. Around two hundred specimens were preserved by his widow, who wrote an article for the 1953 Handbook on Dwarf Potted Trees issued by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. In 1975, she published a book in Japanese, Matsudaira Mame Bonsai Collection Album, which included photos of the couple.

William N. Valavanis:
Yes, Count Matsudaira was an important figure in the popularization of shohin bonsai, and also Kokufu Bonsai Ten as well.

John Romano wrote a four page article in his column "A Little Magic With Shohin Bonsai" in the 2011/NO. 3 issue of International BONSAI. There are three photos of Count Matsudaira in that article.

Also, I have a two page article on the popularity of shohin bonsai in my newest book Classical Bonsai Art, featuring four photos of Count and Mrs. Matsudaira, some of which have never been seen before.

Much of what we know about the Matsudaira's and their collection is thanks to Bill Valavanis. In his new book, Classical Bonsai Art, he shares the history and development of a Shohin Japanese Maple Bonsai from the Matsudaira Collection that has been in his care since 1985. It is wonderful to see the history of a tree and the result of years of care and affection. One of things I admire most about the Matsudiara's was the love and devotion to their trees. For anyone who has separation issues when leaving home without their trees, the Matsudaira's Traveling Bonsai Baskets seem like a perfect solution to me!


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