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Ah, that strange word “Bonsai” …

The word “bonsai” is translated from Japanese, literally means – (sai) – plant, (bon) – in a low container. Many consider the birthplace of bonsai Japan, and this, a very common opinion is erroneous. In fact, this art appeared in ancient China, about 2 thousand years ago. There is no exact data on when the “bonsai” was born. The first documentary references about him are wall paintings in the tomb of Emperor Chang Hua of the Tang Dynasty (706). It depicts courtiers holding bonsai.

Ancient legends can tell us about the various histories of the origin of the art of bonsai. One of these legends tells that a certain emperor ordered to create a miniature copy of the whole empire in his courtyard. Miniature trees were created for this copy. The contemplation of this copy of the imperial empire was forbidden on pain of death to all but the Son of Heaven.

<Japanese Bonsai, Chinese monks brought bonsai around the 6th century AD. However, thanks to this country, the art of “bonsai” was formed and gained world fame. It was in Japan that this art was brought to perfection. The Japanese systematized and perfected ways of growing bonsai, developed a system of rules and requirements both for the plant itself and for combining it with accessories and the surrounding environment.

Despite the history, Chinese and Japanese bonsai are different. The Chinese seek to copy natural plants, and often landscapes. Japanese, almost always costing hints and allegories. A small pebble on a wooden pedestal next to bonsai can symbolize a mountain ridge, the same stone in a flat bronze tray filled with sand personifies an island in the ocean, and a thin vertical vein of quartzite can mean a waterfall.

Despite these differences in Japan and China, bonsai is not just growing a miniature tree in a vessel, it is a whole philosophy that requires certain personal qualities from a bonsai person: justice, wisdom, goodwill, and delicacy.

Traditional bonsai must meet the following requirements:
– stem – strong with a clearly defined base of the root system;
<The bonsai line of branches is clear and sharp;
– the trunk and branches are the backbone of the plant and must be clearly visible even through the foliage;
– similarity with the formed tree of the same or related species growing in natural conditions;
– vessel – a simple form and non-striking coloring;
– compositional correspondence of wood and vessel.

The classification of bonsai by size is very conditional. There are the following types of bonsai:
– large height of 60-120 cm;
– average height of 30-60 cm;
– small height of 15-30 cm;
– miniature height of 5-15 cm, among which distinguish the so-called “bonsai-c-nail” (5-15 cm) and “baby bonsai” (7.5-15 cm).

Today there is a classification of types of bonsai, developed by Japanese designers:
-Chokkan – a symmetric vertical form: a straight vertical cone-shaped trunk, evenly covered with branches;
-Moyogi – asymmetrical vertical form: a cone-shaped stem with a slight inclination to the base and a maximum of 3 small bends, evenly covered with branches;
-Shakan – oblique shape: an oblique trunk, the top and root system of which is directed in the opposite direction than the base of the trunk, a strong root system;
<Bonsai-Fukinagasi – wind-bent form: slanted trunk, especially at the top, with branches directed in the direction of inclination;
-Hokidachi – fan-shaped form: a straight trunk, branching in the form of a fan;
-Han-Kengay – semi-hanging or semi-cascade form: the trunk and branches are horizontal with respect to the edge of the vessel;
– Isitsuki – rock form (bonsai on the stone): the roots of the plant cover the stone in the ground;
-Sokan – twin or forked form: 2 trunks, different in height and power, growing from one root;
-Sankan – triple form;
Kabudachi is a multi-barred form: plants with many trunks of various thickness, resembling a shrub. The number of stems must be odd;
Yose-Yu – forest composition: many trees of different size and age in one vessel;
-Ikadabuki – raft: a trunk lying on or in the ground with vertical branches growing upwards. The plant is like a forest composition of several trees.

Ah, that strange word "Bonsai" ...
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