A compact but elegant space
A gate that looks like a ryotei welcomed me to Shiraishien in Saijo City. As soon as you pass through the gate, you can see that the bonsai trees are neatly displayed and carefully managed. Mr. Minoru Shiraishi, the owner of the garden, manages the beautifully displayed Goyomatsu. He has a gentle face and is very unique. Once you talk to him, you will understand why he loves bonsai. He used to be a bonsai enthusiast, but his hobby grew into running his own garden.
His meticulous work shines through
There are about 1,000 trees in the garden. Although the garden is small, there are many precious trees from his days as a bonsai enthusiast. He mainly produces and handles Goyomatsu, but also has many kinds of miscellaneous trees. He started his bonsai career as a hobby, and has been working on it for many years. He has a reputation for delicate work. He is particularly good at bonsai of the literati type, and has created many of them. Mr. Shiraishi says that he has created these bonsai by drawing out the gentle nature of Akaishi Goyomatsu. Mr. Shiraishi's work is the result of his many years of study as a bonsai artist, observing the nature of the tree and bringing out the best in it.
The garden also produces a lot of uprooted Goyomatsu. The term "uprooted" refers to a tree with its roots exposed above ground. It is a form of tree that recreates the resilience of the pine tree, which grows strongly even though the earth is gouged by heavy rains and the roots are exposed. Although it is a bold tree shape, it requires delicate and exquisite work to reproduce it on a pot.
Mr. Shiraishi's hobby has grown to include running a bonsai garden. On a plot of land the size of an average family's garden, there are bonsai of such quality and quantity that you would never guess they were there just by looking at them from the outside. The quaint gate and the pavilion also show a strong sense of attention to detail. The passion for bonsai is what makes it so. I would like to invite you to come and see the unique bonsai that are created from the perspective of a bonsai lover.
- 616-10, Nakano Kou, Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture