Origin of Bonsai Plant: Ancient Japan

Most of us at least once in a while have come across a bonsai plant during a visit to friends’ houses or close ones. It is treated as the best gift for the occasion. Many believe it helps in purifying air, helps to release stress, and makes one physically active. But what could be the story behind this plant?

In the Japanese art form of bonsai, tiny trees that resemble the size and shape of real trees are grown in pots using cultivation methods. The traditional Bonsai art represents wisdom and elegance. Japanese bonsai trees often reached heights of one to two feet and required years of specialized maintenance. The twisted look of the branches, trunks, and roots was achieved by retaining the proper form while the tree developed using bamboo and wire.

Additionally, painters frequently grafted new branches onto old ones to obtain a specific form. While some plants sprouted leaves and flowers, others even produced fruit. Bonsai trees were recognized as a highly revered form of art by the 14th century.

The coveted plants quickly found their way from the monks to the palaces. The trees developed into prestige and honor symbols, just like in China. Early in the 1600s, Japanese bonsai underwent another evolution. The adept artisans started trimming the plants, removing everything save what was absolutely necessary. Because of this, a minimalist appearance was produced, which symbolizes Japanese philosophy and the idea that “less is more.” All socioeconomic groups were able to purchase bonsai plants throughout the Middle Ages (1185 to 1603). More individuals had to learn the technique of bonsai due to the rising demand, and soon small trees could be found in practically every Japanese home.