Simple Introduction to Bonsai
Having it roots in the Chinese art of Penjing for miniature landscapes, around 2000 years ago, it has strong religious and magical background. It got imported into Japan and become a separate style during the Kamakura period, focusing on cultivating the trees instead of whole landscapes.
The “Bonsai” or “Planted in a container” will originate around the 1800 as differentiation from the Japanese art of the “Hachi-no-ki” in reference to the cultivation of dwarf trees specifically; shifting from its religious and mystical origin into a matter of art and design.
These are not genetical dwarf trees, but regular trees grown in limited conditions to keep them in a small frame. Trying to replicate nature thus hiding the human influence in its growth is important.
From this old practice evolved the specialized and extremely defined bonsai tools from the hand of skilled Japanese craftsmen. Every model of tool has its purpose to give shape to the bonsai in the best way possible, while leaving little mark behind and keeping the tree healthy.