Matsumotos Corner Vol.19


- A Scene of Trees Created by Timee -

I visited a bonsai museum. Bonsai in Japan came from China, where sometimes plants, stones and sand etc., are arranged to create an artistic landscape on a pot. It is called penjing (or penzai. Bonsai is the Japanese pronunciation of penzai in Chinese characters). Bonsai, as developed in Japan, is more focused on the trees and grass themselves.

In some cases, bonsai trees are several hundred years old. This means that a person will need to pass the tree on and grow it for several generations. How enormous is the energy of the people who nurture a tree and watch it grow during that time!

When asked what is important in growing a bonsai tree, Kunio Kobayashi, the founder of the museum, said that it is essential to grow each tree according to its characteristics. That’s what I heard and agreed. Yes, they are living things. We need to be aware that both are living beings when we interact with them.

Photographs courtesy of the Shunkaen Bonsai Museum
(Edogawa-ku, Tokyo)