METROPOLIS | CLASSIFIEDS | PERSONALS | JOBS
LIFE IN JAPAN
Marco Invernizzi


Maki Nibayashi

Occupation:
Bonsai Artist


Time in Japan:

3 years



What brought you here?
I followed my dream to become the first non-Japanese student of Japan' most famous bonsai master.

What were your first impression about Japan?
I came here for the first time when I was 17. I looked out of the plane's window when we landed at Narita and noticed that there were so many swimming pools. I thought that was strange because I'd never heard about this. But, when I took my first trip on the Shinkansen, I realized that they were not swimming pools, but the blue colored roof tops of country houses.

How did you get involved with bonsai?
I studied art and design in high school and university. My passion started when I saw Karate Kid 3. There was a scene where Miyagi Sensei explained that the sense of life is expressed through a beautiful bonsai. I still do not know the reason why, but at that moment, I understood that the art of bonsai was the right one for me and my life. I immediately decided to dedicate all my free time to little trees, studying with an Italian teacher and after that, I worked for bonsai shops in Europe.

What attracts you most to bonsai?
The art is special because it consists of four dimensions. We use the three dimensions of a sculpture, but we also integrate the time the trees are alive and in every season there is something which changes on them. Bonsai is a never ending art, you cannot say that it ever finishes. The bonsai grows and changes and you with it. The trees, in a forest or in a pot, do not speak, but they can tell so many things about the whole world of nature and human beings. Bonsai need constancy and a lot of caring so it is like a mirror of your soul. If you are in good balance, the bonsai will grow, following your humor, if you are too busy with your own engagements, it will reflect on your bonsai, because its health will soon worsen. For all these reasons, my own nursery is called "Ever Bonsai".

What do you try to express through your work?
A tree which you can hold in your hand can light your imagination. It can remind you of the big tree which was the castle of your childhood games, or the tree in which you carved the name of your first love. I spend a lot of time traveling around the world looking for the strangest trees and ones with particular shapes. I have a special interest for the kind of trees that grow in a place where the conditions of the weather are very hard as on top of a mountain or an ocean cliff. I use many special techniques to create a bonsai, to express my personal interpretation of the shapes of nature. With bonsai you are the little one, standing in front of the tree with your fantasy imagining the environment where it grew and its story. My relationship with nature is not based on what I see, but how I see nature. So my relationship is not really visual, rather more expressive. Bonsai is a key that can open a new world in and around you, because you will see nature from a new point of view. This view transmits a special feeling about nature, and that is very important for all people who live in a big city like Tokyo.

What do you most like about Japan?
I enjoy the colors of nature in the fall. Also, I like the old temples and private houses made of wood and bamboo. I come from the civilization of stone, and here, we are in the civilization of wood, everything made from wood seems alive, and when the wood is old the grains breathe beautiful texture.

What would you like to change in Japan?
The cost of fruits. In Japan, I can only afford one apple a day. Some weeks ago I saw a quarter of melon that cost as much as a dinner for four.

Contact Marco at mozzerella10@hotmail.com

Marco Invernizzi to Maki Nibayashi.

Do you know someone who has an interesting life in Japan? Email us at maki@tokyoclassified.com

LIFE IN JAPAN:
360: Gustavo Marchesi
Professional tango dancer
355: Alec McAulay
Filmmaker
352/3: Mary Frenzel
Professional singer / songwriter, bandleader & voice instructor
350: Kate Smurthwaite
Bond analyst and aspiring novelist
349: Tim Spangler
Recreational Equipment, Inc.
348: Robin Rozzell
Tribal Nation Security
347: Marco Invernizzi
Bonsai artist
346: Charles E McJilton
Advocate
345: Chris Chavez
Dancer/Singer
344: Donna Burke
Singer and narrator
343: Dennis Sun
Artist, freelance graphic design and illustrator
342: Martin Hope Berry
Natural food shop owner
341: Donald James Berry
Technical Adviser
340: Amy Jorrisch
Tokyo International Players
339: Anthony Al-Jamie Ph.D.
Education consultant and journalist
338: Joel Silverstein
President of Outback Steakhouse Japan
337: Neal Dauber
Termite and Pest Control Operator
336: Marcus Spurrell
CEO of No Mass Media, Internet Co.
335: Stefan Fanselow
Flight Instructor
334: Colleen Lanki
Theater Artist
333: Ben Leibson
Scuba Diver
332: Bernard Yu
Executive Director of TELL
331: Hayden "Hay-chan" Majajas
Informations Systems Manager
330: Alistair McLachlan
BootsMC Finance manager
329: Ronald Lee Davis
Missionary / Teacher
328: Ed Durbrow
Musician
327: Isabelle Maranda
Marketing Coordinator
326: Brian Marcus
Food & Beverage Director at Tokyo American Club
325: David Baran
Managing Partner, Compass Partners
324: Murali Kupusami
Furla Tea & Coffee Owner/Model
323: Angela Jones
Fire Dancer
322: Tim Tsang
Coordinator for International Relations (CIR)
321: Chris Monnier
Drummer
320: David Snyder
President of Rising Crane Sports Consultants, Inc.
319: Juliet Hindell
BBC's Tokyo Correspondent
318: Sid Lloyd
Football team captain
317: Niels Frederik Walther
Chef for the Danish Ambassador
316: Jonathan Katz
Jazz musician and composer
315: Yoichi Hayase
President, True Travel, K.K.
314: Ira Bolden
Program Manager
313: Benjamin Gurnsey
Corporate Communications at Sony Computer
312: Dr Jonna D. Douglass, PhD
Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist
311: Roy Kilner
Izakaya Manager
310: Neil Day
Senior Software Research Engineer
309: Stuart Ablett
Sakaya Operator
308: Maggie Tai Tucker
Animal Trainer
307: Carmine Cozzoline
Restaurant Owner/Chef
306: Alison Noonan
Cellist
305: Kevin Meyerson
Rainbow Japan Inc. President
304: Randy McGraw
DirecTV Marketing Manager
303: Roy Ron
Researcher
302: Antonio Plozay-Liberatore
Economist/TV Talent
300: Miguel Angel
Bartender

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