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Bonsai Trees

A Gallery

When Japan comes to mind, you may think of Manga, Samurai, Koi fish... or Bonsai. For the Japanese, the care for these small trees is a proud and age-old tradition.

It is not mere horticulture, but a culture in itself. The tiny trees are meant to embody zen principles and to be cultivated with a fully present mind and spirit.

Bonsai are not inherently different from regular-sized trees: they merely had a lack of soil for their roots to grow.

Very rarely, bonsai may grow in wild nature. But, most often, people cultivate them carefully to manipulate their size.

In broad terms, the width, age and uniqueness of a bonsai are the driving markers behind desirability and price.

Some pots have several bonsai or are decorated with other plants

Many kinds of trees may be used to cultivate bonsai: it is up to the onlooker to prefer a Cherry Blossom or a Japanese Maple.

Expert growers may care to compliment their tree with a custom dai suiseki: a rock on a hand-carved wooden pedestal.

In terms of legacy, Bonsai are used as symbols of Japan: they are aesthetic and resemble the zen buddhistic principles that engrain Japanese culture.

Bonsai are a central element to The Karate Kid (1984), where mister Miyagi teaches karate by having his student prune a tree. Bonsai are even more central in its sequel.