You know something big has occurred when all the major bonsai websites, blogs, Instagram pages and influencers are writing about the same thing. Bonsai Empire has achieved the near impossible and we are all better off for it. I don’t think people will appreciate the importance of this piece of work for some time. Kimura is without a doubt the leading bonsai master in the world, the impact he has had on multiple generations of bonsai artists cannot be argued. Securing Master Kimura for an online bonsai master class course is so significant, in years to come we will be looking back at these recordings and recognise them as a genius piece of work that will influence bonsai enthusiasts for generations.
‘Mr. Kimura hasn’t travelled for years now, and he has no intention to do so again. That’s why this Masterclass is so special. As you can imagine, we are very proud and humbled to be the platform that Mr Kimura trusted, to share his knowledge and legacy on’.
Oscar Jonker – Bonsai Empire
Kimura is old school and notoriously hard to secure for any teaching these days. So getting Master Kimura to agree to this was something that must have required careful navigation and respect for traditional relationship building over many years. This kind of relationship cannot be rushed and must respect the elder at all times.
So how did Bonsai Empire get the world number one bonsai master to teach an online course? Oscar Jonker writes they ‘had the privilege to visit Mr. Kimura’s garden for various occasions to conduct interviews and even shoot an exclusive short film with him. Through our interactions over the last few years Bonsai Empire has been slowly gaining his trust and building a good relationship’
The course is fabulous. I highly recommend it for anyone at any skill level. Those new to bonsai will be inspired to strive to the next level, while experienced artists will appreciate the subtle details.
The course consists of 14 videos with a total run time of over four hours that is spoken in Japanese with English subtitles. The lectures were filmed inside Mr Kimura’s workshop where he has created all his masterpieces over the years. There are two demonstrations an interview with Mr Kimura and a tour through his private and public collections.
This is an up-close experience with Mr Kimura that makes you feel like you are sitting in the room with a master at work. It is one of the most candid demonstrations I have seen from Mr Kimura. He is very relaxed while he works with his apprentices. This is not one of those old school demonstrations that leaves you feeling like there was a whole lot of content the teacher held back on.
Mr Kimura talks about intricate details and shares techniques and tips that I was not expecting, like how he cultivates moss. Mr Kimura was asked several questions throughout the demonstration about the techniques he applied, which he explained and elaborated on. The course does not leave you feeling like big chunks of work were skipped over or leave you wondering what happened to get the tree from point A to point B. Bonsai Empire have really delivered on this front.
Both demonstrations are fantastic. The white pine is beautiful. The rock planting is simply stunning. I’m not normally a big fan of rock plantings but I found myself mesmerised by this creation that evoked a sense of calmness and very deep feelings about the beauty of nature. My wife and kids even loved watching this one, something that doesn’t usually happen. I think anyone would find it hard not to fall in love with this masterpiece. Both of these bonsai left me thinking about where I’m headed with my own trees and even considering a rock planting.
The private garden
I really love the tour of Mr Kimura’s private garden. Here we get a very rare look at the area where all his customer’s trees are kept, as well as the many trees waiting to be worked on. I really don’t know how Bonsai Empire managed to get this footage to us.
“Mr Kimura asked us if our students would like to see his back garden. This is usually a secretive area where visitors are never allowed into, so we were quite honoured to be able to share this with you in a short film”
Oscar Jonker – Bonsai Empire
I also received a really nice email from Oscar Jonker that included some very interesting details about the development of course. I have included a small sections of that email in this review.
Overall this is by far the most satisfying on line bonsai course I have purchased. I have been a massive Kimura fan for many years. Meeting him in 2005 was a huge highlight for me. Having these interviews to watch has not only fuelled my passion for bonsai, it has reaffirmed my admiration for Master Kimura.
I highly recommend everyone who is serious about studying bonsai completes this course. It is worth the price and you will not be disappointed!
I would personally like to send a massive thank you and congratulations to Oscar Jonker and all of the team at Bonsai Empire.
I hope you enjoy the course as much as I did.
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