November 2000 I was honored to be invited by Hideko Metaxas to participate in a Japanese tour to bonsai and suiseki masters, with a visit to the all-Japan 20th Nippon Bonsai Exhibition Taikanten, in Kyoto.
Notes from the tour:
We visited such masters as Arishige Matsuura, my friend who kindly wrote the Foreward to my book, Kunio Kobayashi, a bonsai master well known in the West, who is also an enthusiastic collector of suiseki, Mr. Reiji Takagi of the Takagi Bonsai Museum in Tokyo, and Mr. Daizo Iwasaki from Niihama, on Shikoku Island.
We stayed in Kyoto for four days and visited the Taikanten daily. Matsuura-Sensei kindly gave us a critique of all the suiseki at the exhibition (about 33 suiseki), and on the final day I was able to get a press badge allowing me to photograph the stones. Unfortunately time did not permit me to measure them nor get the names of their owners. I recently received the latest edition of the Nippon Suiseki Association newsletter and several of the suiseki at the show were shown in it. I have used several measurements from the newsletter. Many of the suiseki on display are famous meiseki, or masterpieces. Some come from the Imperial Palace and some are famous throughout Japan. An article will be coming soon.