The garden Tokonoma is used on a daily basis. On rainy days I keep tables and scrolls out, and just set up a basic display. Sometimes just a Suiseki. Other days a proper display with scrolls and tables are included. Like today.
The point is to use the Tokonoma the whole year. It gives me tremendous pleasure and practice. it also enhance the experience of enjoying bonsai. It raises the level of the displayed items, and I pay more attention to their development and quality when set up in the Tokonoma.
Sometimes it is not very well developed trees or plants I display for my self. It can be semi developed trees that I want to have a clearer and cleaner view at than standing on the tables in the bonsai garden. Or simply enjoying them on their way in the middle of their development. When guests arrive, I clean up and display the best of my trees in respect of the guests.
Todays display – that will stay for a few days before it is changed – is a mame-bonsai Juniper I have had for several years. The display is a bit different from how I would normally display a mame (shohin) bonsai. But this is not an exhibition display. It is in my private Tokonoma, and the goal is to enjoy and not to compete.
The Tokonoma allows me a lot of freedom from the ordinary, so I have set up a small tree with larger elements, because I want to see how it works. To balance the small tree with the larger and visual heavier elements, I have placed it on a thicker stand made of wood. This is placed on a stone slap, again to balance with scroll and stone in the display. Does it work? It is up to you to judge. Later I will make a video at the Bonsai Video Studio were I will like to experiment and discuss the possibilities, and the guidelines to make a good display. In the Tokonoma, and at exhibitions. Today, I will just enjoy.