Penjing Museum at the United States National Arboretum. Japanese art form using cultivation techniques to produce small trees in containers that mimic the shape and size of full size trees. Bonsai” is a Japanese plant based diet for beginners pdf of the earlier Chinese term penzai. The purposes of bonsai are primarily contemplation for the viewer, and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity for the grower.
By contrast with other plant cultivation practices, bonsai is not intended for production of food or for medicine. A bonsai is created beginning with a specimen of source material. This may be a cutting, seedling, or small tree of a species suitable for bonsai development. The source specimen is shaped to be relatively small and to meet the aesthetic standards of bonsai. When the candidate bonsai nears its planned final size it is planted in a display pot, usually one designed for bonsai display in one of a few accepted shapes and proportions. From that point forward, its growth is restricted by the pot environment. The practice of bonsai is sometimes confused with dwarfing, but dwarfing generally refers to research, discovery, or creation of plant cultivars – especially coniferous subjects such as juniper and spruce – that are permanent, genetic miniatures of existing species.
The earliest illustration of a penjing is found in the Qianling Mausoleum murals at the Tang-dynasty tomb of Crown Prince Zhanghuai, dating to 706. The Japanese art of bonsai originated from the Chinese practice of penjing. The 1195 scroll Saigyo Monogatari Emaki was the earliest known to depict dwarfed potted trees in Japan. A close relationship between Japan’s Zen Buddhism and the potted trees began to shape bonsai reputation and esthetics. Buddhist monks taught at Japan’s monasteries. This indicated use of a fairly deep pot, rather than the shallow pot denoted by the eventual term bonsai. Bonsai cultivation reached a high level of expertise in this period.
Bonsai dating to the 17th century have survived to the present. One of the oldest-known living bonsai trees, considered one of the National Treasures of Japan, can be seen in the Tokyo Imperial Palace collection. By the end of the 18th century, bonsai cultivation in Japan was becoming widespread and began to interest the general public. Connoisseurs from five provinces and neighboring areas would bring one or two plants each to the show in order to submit them to visitors for ranking.
In Japan after 1800, bonsai began to move from being the esoteric practice of a few specialists to becoming a widely popular art form and hobby. Japanese scholars of Chinese arts gathered in the early 19th century to discuss recent styles in the art of miniature trees. The popularity of bonsai began to grow outside the limited scope of scholars and the nobility. On October 13, 1868, the Meiji Emperor moved to his new capital in Tokyo.