The Honorable Master Walter Pall

Tanuki are into controversy in South East Asia

That we've been waiting from you, in fact, what it Tanuki?

What can Tanuki and Bonsai pitted in a contest?

Is it different Tanuki and Deadwood?

Thank you Master

Best Regards



there are several degrees of tanuki.

One can take a big interesting piece of deadwood and combine it with a young plant to mimic a very old tree with lots of natural deadwood. This is something that many people do. Most do it for fun and most of the time it looks terrible because it is obvious and one sees it immediately. This kind of tree never should be exhibited at all.

Sometimes it is done well so that even an expert fins it difficult to tell. This is fine. This kind of tree can be exhibited but it should be mentioned that it is a tanuki.

Then there are cases when a bit of deadwood is added to a tree which already has deadwood. This is also fine. Most of the time it is not mentioned that this is a tanuki.

Sometimes two trees which are alive are fixed together to look like one tree. Also this is fine if it looks well.

Tanuki is a cheat, a lie. Bonsai art itself is a cheat, a lie, it creates the illusion of an old tree while the tree is young. To paint one's face, eyes and lips and hair is a cheat , a lie. So why do so many people get away with it? Well, if done well and if it looks good then it is OK. But nobody believes it is for real. Where does the lying start? Where does it end? How much of a lie is too much?

I believe that more famous trees than one wants to believe are tanukis of partial tanukis.


Walter Pall Bonsai Adventures