Category Archives: News

Ireland Japan Association – Earthquake Appeal

We have all seen the images and felt the pain. As lovers of Japanese Gardens and one of the original homes of Bonsai, we are asking for your help in ‘Helping Japan’.

The Ireland Japan Association has set up a special fund for those anxious to contribute
in a practical way to help those made homeless. The fund is called the “Ireland Japan Association – Earthquake Appeal”.

Bank Name: Bank of Ireland
Bank Address: St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
Account Name: Ireland Japan Association – Earthquake Appeal
Account Number: 81235601
Sort Code: 900084
Swift Code: BOFIIE2D
IBAN: IE52 BOFI 9000 8481 2356 01

Keisho Ohno & Samurai Spirit

As part of their European Tour, Keisho Ohno and Samurai Spirit make their first Irish debut at the magnificent Royal Hibernian Academy. The Ireland Japan Association are delighted to invite its members and friends to come and experience an evening of traditional Japanese music with a unique contemporary twist!

Keisho Ohno

Born in Niigata-shi, Niigata Prefecture.

By the age of eight, Keisho had became a pupil of Chikuei Takahashi, who is the authority and founder of Tsugaru Shamisen, and at the age of just twelve, he became a, Natori, and was permitted to use part of his master’s name for his own stage name. At the age of fourteen, Keisho gained the acceptance of the founder, Chikuzan, and became one of the Mainstream Chikuzan Bushi Successors. In the year 2000, Keisho relocated his base to Osaka.

In 2004, Keisho formed, “Keisho Ohno with Tsugaru Shamisen SOUL,” and began to launch its music activities. “Keisho Ohno with Tsugaru Shamisen SOUL” is a Tsugaru Shamisen band with the inclusion of assisting keyboard and drum players. As a Tsugaru Shamisen player, based on the traditional paying techniques, Keisho takes over the spirit of a challenger from his master, Chikuzan, and creates a present-progressive traditional music, which will bring about a fresh breeze into the upcoming era. Keisho, as a Chikuzan-style Tsugaru shamisen player, plays a role of preserving classics while pursuing his original style, outside the mold of traditional art, via collaborations with artists from differenf musical fields. Keisho’s unorthodox performance style is now gaining great public attention

Date: Saturday, March 5th
Time: 6-8pm
Venue: Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA), 15 Ely Place, Dublin 2
In Association with: IJA, Japanese Embassy & RHA

Keisho Ohno: Shamisen
Yoichiro Suzuki: Shakuhachi Flute,Trombone.
Toshihiro Yuta:Taiko drum

This event is open to existing IJA MEMBERS with no charge.
Non-Members are also welcome but note that members will be given priority booking.
This is a private IJA, Embassy and RHA Event – advance booking is essential so please email info(at) .

RSVP by February 25th at 5pm:

Jennifer Condon
Ireland Japan Association

Article originally published on Keisho Ohno MySpace page

Free Bonsai Classifieds


A new Free Bonsai Classified Ads web site was launched at the weekend. Bonsai Bazaar will give you the opportunity to create your own Bazaar for selling or exchanging anything Bonsai.

Packed with great features you will be able to setup and manage your own ‘Bazaar’. Sell those unwanted Pots and acessories. Want to swap a tree for a Yamadori? Anything related to Bonsai is allowed…

Take a look at the list of features:

  • Register and create your own ad listings.
  • Ad Editing – You can edit/pause your ads from within your dashboard.
  • Create comments – Give and receive feedback on posted listings.
  • Image Uploading – Multiple images can be attached directly to your ad.
  • Seller Contact Form – Visitors can easily contact you right from your listing. (Emails are sent from BonsaiBazaars email engine).
  • Receive notification of someone who is interested in your product.
  • Create a featured showcase Ad for the front page. €10 for 60 days to give maximum exposure.
  • RSS Feed – Visitors can subscribe to the rss feed from any feed reader and instantly see your latest classified ads.
  • Email and Print – You can now easily have your visitors print and/or email classified ads by clicking a link!
  • Tags – Each classified ad supports multiple native tagging for improved organization and searching.
  • Ad Visitor Counter – Shows how many daily and all-time visitors on each specific classified ad.
  • Member Profile Page – You can update your own info, change your password, upload a picture, and much more. Anyone viewing an ad can click on the authors name to see your profile page. (We use email cloaking software to protect your email address from spammers)
  • Google Maps – See exactly where each ad listing is physically located. This feature utilizes the Google Maps so each ad will show a map of the item location. Accurate down to the street name.
  • Social Media Marketing – All ads are posted to Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and over 20 other social media sites to maximize the reach of your ad.
  • Embed Video – Include videos in your Bonsai classified ads. Supports YouTube, Google Video, MetaCafe, Vimeo or any site that provides “embed” code.

These are just a few of the features available, more will be added in the near future.

  • Bonsai Bazaar America. (July 2010)
  • Spanish version of Bonsai Bazaar (July 2010)
  • Event management
  • Bonsai artists profiles
  • Practical bonsai blog

Check out the Getting Started Guides and videos on ‘Bonsai Bazaar‘.

Waynes Bonsai

In the April ezine I ran two competitions. One was for Bonsai tips for beginners and the second, I asked collectors to send me a short description of their love affair with their favourite tree.

The best entry for the favourite tree was from Wayne Cosgrove from Co.Wexford, Ireland.

waynes bonsaiMy best and most loved bonsai is my CRYPTOMERIA japonica or temple cedar.

This tree was a 6ft tall bush when I bought it but I done some radical pruning and now it stands at 30 inches. It is a twin trunk style and I think the tree gives off a sense of majesty and assurance and also age which is what we strive for in bonsai but young or old the tree’s soul is most important.

Ok here is the funny bit.

My beloved Cryptomeria bonsai is in fact potted in an Emile Henry oven dish which I got from a friend who was chucking it out. I drilled some drainage holes in the base and it passes as an oval bonsai pot.

I just hope my bonsai does not cook in the summer sun.

Bonsai Comments Competition

comments_competitionEvery month we will be giving away some great prizes for subscribers to our eZine and readers of the web site.

Monthly Subscribers Competition.

In the April we are giving away for our eZine subscribers the following:

  1. 5 copies of ‘Bonsai 101′ by Harry Tomlinson
  2. 2 copies of ‘Practical Bonsai’ by Ken Norman
  3. 1 copy of the ‘Bonsai School’ by Craig  Cousins
  4. 2 copies of the ‘Damascus Acoustic Meditation‘ CD.

How to enter?

Send me a short story by email on why you love Bonsai, the good and bad habits of your tree, does your favourite tree have a nick name and a picture of your lover, eh tree! The best and most amusing entries will win. (Oh, these will be published in the May eZine and on the web site)

Bonsai Ireland Readers Competition.

So for this we are offering a specially signed copy of one of Craig Cousins Bonsai books.

How to enter?

This is easy, all you have to do is submit as a comment your best Bonsai tips for beginners under the Serissa Bonsai post and the comment with the most votes by the end of April will win. Couldn’t be easier. (You can only vote for yourself once, Sorry!!!)

So get cracking and have fun!!!

April Bonsai Update

favourite_treeThe April newsletter was just sent to all subscribers, aptly named ‘April showers, no snow please’ after the the snow showers we had over the past few days. It should disappear by morn!

In this months newsletter we are offering two competitions, one for members offering a selection of Bonsai books and meditation CD’s from Damascus Acoustic Meditations. For non-members we have a great prize if you are a collector of Bonsai books and that is a specially signed copy of one Craig Cousins Bonsai books. To enter see competition page for more details.

Other news:

A prominent Irish Bonsai collector passed away last September and I have been asked by his family to sell off his collection of over 200 trees. The range of trees is mainly outdoor trees, including a selection of Yamadori. More details to follow in the May newsletter.

Bonsai Activities for April:

Your main focus of activity for April is trimming. As spring has finally started the growth on your Bonsai tree will become elongated and out of form from your preferred design. Trim back the leaf growth and remove unwanted suckers from the base of the tree. The following video will show some pruning techniques as well as showing you how to create a Bonsai from nursery stock.

The subject tree is a Juniper. For more information on Juniper for beginners see the following post.

Introduction to Acoustic Meditations

Introduction to Acoustic Meditations

Sunday 11th April, Stillorgan Park Hotel , Dublin 11am

This workshop will show you the many benefits of meditation, including reduction of stress in your life, improving your health, getting peace of mind, and increased happiness.

We’ll show how you can easily introduce this age old practice into your life.

You will also get a complimentary copy of our new CD;

Damascus Acoustic Meditations.

 To book your place in this FREE workshop,

Call Audrey NOW on 087 7618667 or [email protected]

February Bonsai News

Feb, first month of spring, first month of new growth in a new year. The Snowdrops are flowering and the daffs are pushing through. The snows on my hilly backdrop are clearing, it is still cold outside with that sharp Irish dampness that does its best not to heal your bones.

Irish Bonsai Society

Interest is growing with feedback from all parts of Ireland. Fill out the interest form or join

Bonsai Tasks

By now you have all your pots cleaned and new soils prepared for repotting. This year for a change I am using Akadama, why. Akadama is great for retaining moisture and over time it will break down to suit the roots. Yesterday I repotted a Jack Pine and a Spruce. I always place the repotted trees in the coldframe until the harshest of the frosts has cleared, which is normally around mid-March. These trees can be repotted now as they are a native species tree and very hardy. The more tender varieties can wait till towards the end of the month.

Your Indoor trees, Serissa and Chinese elm can be repotted in late spring.

Tree Seeds

Don’t forget to inspect your tree seeds and plan the next stage, which should be transplanting if in the fridge stratifying.  My Larch seeds (about 60 seeds) were placed in the fridge six week ago and now will be planted in a fine coarse soil mixture. The Blue Jacranda seeds have already sprouted and are approximately 2 cm high. These are indoor trees. They will be kept with bottom heat until the end of March to encourage the roots.

January Bonsai News

Winter is a dormant time for your trees, but not for yourself.   Their is plenty of planning and maintenance work to be completed.


You will have an exciting year ahead with your trees. So to get this moving you should start by planning how you would like your tree to be styled.

Take a photograph of your tree and sketch over it with tracing  paper and modify what changes you plan to make. Visualise the end result. Any pruning or wiring you intend to do must be done in late winter.

Prepare your soil mixtures and pots for repotting. Best to clean your pots with vegetable oil, if you have a tree living in it.

Inspect your tree seeds, especially those that are being stratified.

Maintaining your Indoor (Tropical) Bonsai in the winter.

Light for your tree.

Winter as we all know is a time of low light and giving your tree adequte lighting is a challenge. Their is a temptation to place your tree at a South facing window for good light. This is not a good option as the strong mid-day Sun could scorch the leaves. The best solution is to place your tree on a North or East facing window. Sometimes I use day light bulbs to help give extra light.

Watering you tree.

Less watering is required in the winter months, your indoor tree also has a dormant period. Still use the scratch test.

Humidity for your tree.

Okay it’s -5 outside and the eco heating is on full blast.

Although your plants are tropical they can dry out fairly quickly and being tropical they do need a good rainforest effect. Use a humidity tray as previously mentioned. Get a large flat tray place small pebbles in it, even decorative stones and keep a reservoir of water. Through normal evaporation (and precipitation) this will help keep the moisture level up. You can still mist your leaves. (Great therapy)

Something to try out…

For the Indoor Bonsai novice why not pay a visit to your local garden center and pick out a suitable Indoor tree that could shaped as a Bonsai. The best one to start with is the Ficus microcarpa also known as the ‘Banyan Tree’. ficus_microcarpa

Other suitable trees would be the ‘Dwarf Myrtle’, ‘Jade Plant’ or ‘Heavenly Bamboo’.