September 11, 2021: Visit to the 18th National Bonsai and Suiseki Exhibition in Levoča

   On September 11, I participated in the 18th National Bonsai and Suiseki Exhibition, which took place in the County House after a one-year postponement caused by a pandemic in Levoča. With my presence, I fulfilled the promise I made to the President of the Slovak Bonsai Association, Juraj Szabó, during his June business trip to Košice.
   I saw the exhibition not only accompanied by the chairman of the SBA, but also the mayor of Levoča, Miroslav Vilkovský. During the show, I fully felt the extraordinary passion with which Slovak bonsai people devote themselves to this art. I also selected one of the bonsai on display and awarded, as the Ambassador Award of Japan. This year, the award went to Mr. Peter Bonk's linden tree. Lipa, as the national tree of Slovakia and the Slavs, aptly captures the meaning - a symbol of friendship between Slovakia and Japan.
In a separate room of the exhibition, young bonsai people performed work on pruning and shaping pine trees that were brought from Slovak forests. It will be a long time before these trees can be called bonsai, but thanks to the young generation of bonsai, there is no doubt that Slovak bonsai will continue to grow and enjoy great popularity.
   I once again felt that the activities of the Slovak Bonsai Association under the passionate leadership of President Juraj Szabó are amazing.
   A small number of suiseki from members of the Slovak Suiseki Association was also exhibited at the exhibition. It was interesting for me to see stones that have their origins outside of Japan. On this occasion, I promised the President of the Slovak Suiseki Association a visit to their national exhibition.