I read recently that the art of Bonsai will die out in thirty years due to a lack of trainee bonsai masters. As we stood in front of a thousand year old tree today at the Omiya Bonsai museum it was not hard to see why. It’s simply impossible to imagine the feeling one would have before walking into one’s employer’s office to explain how it had just turned up its toes while in one’s care. To snip a wrong branch on a three hundred year old tree would be bad enough!
At the Kitain Temple, we marvelled once again over joints and proportions that changed in magical ways, bringing indoors out and outdoors in, listening transfixed to the song of the nightingale as we walked across the connecting bridge betwixt samurai’s house and temple. There’s no reason to fix the squeaky stairs at home now, I just need to work out how to tune them and give them a slight vibrato effect.
Then to the museum in Kawagoe where we could dismantle and re-mantle those joints we had come to love, through the ancient warehouse district and finally to yet another modern gallery, curious in form and in content where we found our own nightingale.
To our great shame, his name did not stick in any of our minds, but it was his last day at the office after 29 years of tending the gallery, and whether it was because of this or because he just liked us, he deemed us fit to share his farewell moment with a glorious a capella baritone rendition of “My Way” obviously honed through a similar number of hours of karaoke to those required to become a bonsai master.