The Ultimate Bonsai Handbook
By Yukio Hirose
Softcover 7.5” x 10”
256 pages, HEAVY!
Over 1,000 photos & 70 types of bonsai
$25, US Shipping $7, inquire about foreign shipping
This is the newest bonsai book published to date. Mr. Hirose is one of the top leaders in the Japanese shohin bonsai community and has a garden where he teaches, grows, sells and also organizes exhibitions. This book is great! Loads of high quality photos with step by step illustrated instructions the basics of bonsai and how to, create, care, train and display bonsai. Over 70 different species are described with information on training and maintenance.
This entire book is devoted to shohin bonsai and should have been promoted as such. For those who love and train shohin bonsai it can be quite valuable for authoritative information. However, the main disappointment with this book is that all the plants are listed with their Japanese names which makes it difficult for hobbyists to determine what species is discussed. Yes, there is an “Alphabetical List of Plants” at the end, but it too, is in Japanese. The “Terms Used in Bonsai” is in English.
Although a bit frustrating to determine what species of tree is illustrated, most can figured out with the “Other Names” sentence in the beginning of each section. Generally the translation is good, but there are a few awkward sections. Taking everything into consideration this book is recommended if you enjoy the beauty, training and care of shohin bonsai.