Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Japanese Art of Bonsai

The jananese art of Bonsai it's an occupation that lies on the edge between arts and gardening. What does really mean the growth of bonsai? In just a few words it is an ancient japanese pursuit of cultivating small plants and trees inside a vase. The meaning of Bonsai in japanese is more than suggestive, representing the fusion of two ancient japanese words: bon( tree) and sai (vase) .

The most fascinating thing about a bonsai tree is the fact that, opposite to what one might think, it isn't genetically modified so it remains small, but it is a perfectly normal tree, its miniature like size being the consequence of the small space into which it was grown and of the systematic cuttings. This extaordinary fact can be observed best when the bonsai tree flourishes, its flowers being much like those of regular trees , on both aspects of form and size.

The japanese art of Bonsai appeared in the XII century, as an evolution of an ancient chinese technology. It spread quickly in all of Japan, after a few centuries becaming already a tradition. Being in the past centuries the attribute of monks, scholars and aristocrats, the art of bonsai evolved, starting with the XIX century, becaming a way of living for the vast majority of the japanese, the nowdays popularity of this art rising at such a level that it is said that there is no japanese family not to have a bonsai tree inside their home. Truly this sophisticated pursuit, which perfectly combines both artistical and hoticultural aspects, matches entirely the minutely and sensible japanese soul.

Due to its peculiar charm, its spreading sensibility, a bonsai tree makes the perfect present for our loved ones. And what can be more suitable to write on the greetings card than this old japanese saying: A bonsai is never done.

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