Hector Johnson wrote:
However, it must be recognized, by even the most ardent proponent of this mythical "happou biraki" or "open on all sides" approach to bonsai, that there may be many angles from which one might abserve a bonsai with pleasure, but there will only be one "best" side, usually that presented to the viewer in a formal show.
To argue otherwise is simply vexatious, in my view. To engage in a long, tedious, Quixotic quest to prove wrong all who have gone before you is simply contention for the sake of contention, so far as I can see.
You are failing to grasp that what you call the "best" side is not recognized as the same by others. As I have shown, inexperienced or experienced bonsaists often do not agree on which side is the best. This is the flaw in the "best" side forward argument.
To assume that everyone will agree with your assessment of what the best side is, is just vanity.
This being said, even when you show your own visible front based on your personal opinion, you can not (except in photographs) force anyone to view it at that particular angle. The front as we have come to know it, is a myth, it exists only in pictures. Even if you could somehow force the viewing to only look at it from that angle, you are cheating the people who would not otherwise have picked the same "best front" as you did.
The front you are defending, that single, one sided, two dimensional, only the back rim of the pot showing, stand here on the painted footprints front, does not exist outside of photographs.