Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen

Posted on 09/06/2016

Photo taken on March  1, 2015

See also...

Bonzaï - Bonsaï Bonzaï - Bonsaï

New York New York

Trees Trees


Juniperus Chinensis Var. Sargentii
Sargent Juniper
New York State
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Prospect Park
New York City
United States
C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum

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"Fudo" – Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York, New York

"Fudo" – Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York, New York
Fudo is the name given to this bonsai Sargent Juniper. Considered to be between 600 and 1,000 years old, the tree was reportedly found in 1910 by the famous bonsai tree hunter Tahei Suzuki and was first wired by Kinsaku Saida, said to be the greatest wiring master of all time. Making its first public appearance in 1929, the bonsai received the first prize – and promptly vanished. Its owner at the time was a Japanese oil magnate who was afraid that exhibitions would spoil the tree. A special place deep inside his mansion was built for the "Phantom Shimpaku" (as it would be called by people who saw the tree during its only exhibition). In 1946, having survived the war, the tree was purchased by Yoshimatsu Hattori and received the name of "Fudo." The name comes from the "God of Fire Fudo," an imaginary guardian of the Buddha against all evils, standing amid burning flame without moving. "Fudo’s" appearance suggested swirling flames.

Sadly, the tree died in 1971, some months after arriving in the United States. It remains preserved at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden where it remains inspirational. A photograph taken in 1970 in Japan "shows the lower branch, where all the trouble apparently began, not showing any visible change, but the foliage on that branch was thinner than the rest of the foliage."

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