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The Bonsai Tradition


Bonsai (pronounced Bone-Sigh) is a Japanese word which means a miniaturized tree planted in an appropriate container.   Bonsai is a living art form and an integral part of the Japanese cultural tradition. 


Historically, the art of bonsai had it's origin in China, high in the craggy mountains where certain species of trees grow.   Born under very hostile climatic conditions, trees surviving in these conditions were stunted, gnarled, and often grotesquely, burdened with ice and snow in the winter, or battered and twisted by high winds.   These old and beautiful trees created by nature, served as models for the living art form which we know today as bonsai.  Inspired by the natural beauty of these native miniature trees, students of bonsai seek to create trees which display the most aesthetically pleasing aspects of what is seen in nature.

Although bonsai were initially admired by the ruling class and priests of Japan, it  would eventually become popular with the middle class.  The Japanese have always appreciated and lived in harmony with their surroundings.   The small size of these potted trees make them economically compatible with the restricted space of Japanese home gardens.

No longer confined to the orient, this art form now appeals to people throughout the world who have become involved as students, as teachers, as patrons and devotees of the art form.

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