Makoto Ishibashi is able to sculpt perfect trees with just a small tug on one side and a quick deft clip on the other. He is an artisan that was essentially born into the bonsai business as his family has owned trees for centuries. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that he has mastered the artwork so well that he can now take a pine tree and in just a few hours (or sometimes a few minutes) turn it into something that is considered a piece of art fetching as much as 40,000 pounds.
Ishibashi works on his bonsai farm in a small city in China called Sosa about 100km to the east of Tokyo. He is working on a pine that looks like a triangle shape and states that he thinks of the tree like a woman because the leaves are very soft to the touch. He went on to say that the trees are part of his family and they tell him about how they want to be shaped. He admitted of course that this feeling might be somewhat one sided, but he does think that all people share something with the trees the way that all living creatures share and influence each other.
Sosa is well known for being the city that Tokyo turns to for many of its expert temple gardens and manicured gardens because the trees seem as if they are perfectly shaped by the snow or wind just to sit in a garden. Of course, a lot of this seamless perfection actually is the result of an artist that worked for hours to chisel out branches so that they can get the perfect shape. Of course, macro bonsai is failing on hard times as not as many youths are taking up the trade, but there is still a large market for it and artists like Ishibashi are still devoting their life to the art.