Shohin and mame sized bonsai at my training benches
Mame, Kifu, Chuhin
Shohin-bonsai are 20 cm / 8 inches and under.
(Most important is that the
Shohin fits with the size of the rack. 20 cm is the maximum height, but trees
measuring up to 23-25 cm is also seen depending on their style).
or bean-size bonsai is less than 10 centimetres / 4 inches in height. Also the
with must not extend 10 cm / 4 inches but there are no official measures and it
is just a guideline of the smaller shohin).
Not only the size is a
measure of the bonsai belonging to the Shohin category. At the same time, the
balance of the tree is important.
You may have a tree where the width of tree is more than 40cm, but less than
25cm in height. The physical volume and size of the tree makes its all over
volume to heavy to be a Shohin. Maybe the size is right regarding the height of
the tree, but a heavy or massive root base makes the feeling of the tree out of
style suiting the aesthetics of shohin-bonsai.
The tree is maybe 30 cm in height, but because it is the “bunjin”
style (“literati”), having few branches, little mass of leafs and therefore
having the appearance of being a small thing (shohin), and acceptable as a
On exhibitions, also larger
trees are exhibited. This is a list of the exhibited sizes that is used by the
All Japan Shohin-bonsai Association:
(up to 20 cm / 8 inch high)
Mini (maximum 10cm / 4 inch – the rules
of measures are exact and also includes long Jins at Junipers e.g.)
Chuhin (middle size, maximum 45cm / 18 inch)
Kifu (over 20cm, / 8 inch - around 25-35cm / 10-14 inches)
Bunjin / Literati (may be up to 70-80 cm high / 27-32 inches
but no exact demands in this group)
In Japan a registered
collection of very high quality Shohin-bonsai is present at the All Japan
Shohin-Bonsai Association. Excellent Shohin-Bonsai and pots are registered
at Gafu-ten Yuga Collection, and in this case the more or less limited sizes are
a little less important.
Basic guidelines of
It is to mention that the
sizes described here are general and basic guidelines, because there are no
official and exact classifications regarding sizes. In the case of exhibitions
it is the judges and/or exhibition organisers alone who finally select the
standards and judges the trees for selection.
Shinpaku shown at Noelanders Trophy 2012