The Japanese Art of Making Bonsai

by WriterArtist

The beautiful art of carving and sculpting trees into art pieces was first invented in Japan. The bonsai trees were easy to carry while traveling and were thus used for gifts too.

Bonsai is a Japanese form of art and technique wherein the skills lie in sculpting a tree, an art which is appreciated all over the world. You will find an abundance of Zen and Chinese gardens that display a garden of beautiful Bonsai trees.

Bonsai employs nurturing strategies like pruning, root cutback, potting, pruning leaves, along with grafting to create little trees with the purpose of replicating the shape and style of mature, full-sized trees.

Image Credit - by Dake licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license

© copyright WriterArtist 2014, all rights reserved

What Exactly is Bonsai?

Bonsai is sometimes confused with dwarfing, except that dwarfing much more accurately refers to studying in addition to creating cultivars of plant objects which are undeviating, genetic miniatures of present varieties. Bonsai doesn't need genetically dwarfed plants, but rather depends upon growing little plants from standard collection of seeds or saplings.

This leaves us to trust that developing dwarfed and twisted trees in containers was an accepted exercise and not deforming as believed by some people and prevalent among the upper class of Japan in ancient period. During the commencement of fourteenth century, induction of bonsai was considered indeed as an extremely refined form of art.

 A section of ancient Japanese did not approve of carving the trees. The quote they used to define bonsai goes like this -

"To appreciate and discover pleasure in curiously curved potted trees would be to love deformity”

Irrespective of the ancient Japanese texts quoting “Bonsai” in a most offensive and provocative manner, many people felt bonsai was an art to transform the trees into something beautiful. 

Bonsai in News

Bonsai Exhibitions in the World

Bonsai was brought indoors by Japanese artisans who loved drafting the tree. At times, it was used and made popular by the 'Japanese elite'. It thus became an essential component of Japanese life style. Japanese art reached its peak in 17th and 18th century and is been regarded extremely reputed form of craftsmanship involving trees. The art reached millions by gracefully getting displayed on specially created shelves in popular art exhibitions and shows. The


The world started appreciating Bonsai making through "INTERNATIONAL BONSAI" events after Japan re-established itself following World War II at the World Fair Exposition.  The major bonsai exhibits were from the Nippon Bonsai Association which ran for several months and exposed bonsai to a large number of people creating awareness and world interest. 



Do you think making Bonsai is an art of sculpting or deforming tree?

Yes - Definitely a Japanese art
Tolovaj on 02/18/2014

It is art!

The Presence of Bonsai in Occidental Culture


 Other major international events in 1976 where Japan presented a bi-centennial bonsai gift to the United States sparked the induction of Bonsai to western world.  This proved as a catalyst in creating the National Bonsai Foundation and the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the US National Arboretum in Washington. Interestingly, this is the most diverse collection of all forms of artistic Bonsai embellished in pots.


In 1980, a major effort took place where Japan’s World Bonsai Convention in Osaka, agreed to form a world bonsai organization.  In 1989, the World Bonsai Friendship Federation formed in Omiya and the dream of Saburo Kato and international bonsai leaders of the World War II generation became true.  

Making Bonsai on YouTube

Updated: 02/06/2014, WriterArtist
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

Do you think Bonsai looks beautiful as an art piece?

Tolovaj on 02/18/2014

I got a book about bonsai as birthday gift many years ago but never did the first step. I don't know if I have enough patience for this, but can certainly be a fascinating hobby.

AbbyFitz on 02/06/2014

I've always loved Bonsai. I wish I had the expertise to try it.

younghopes on 02/06/2014

I love Bonsai, i have one in my house

ologsinquito on 02/06/2014

Yes, bonsai are very beautiful.

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