Concept

Bonsai aesthetics

Summary
Bonsai aesthetics are the aesthetic goals and characteristics of the Japanese tradition of the art of bonsai, the growing of a miniature tree in a container. Many Japanese cultural characteristics, particularly the influence of Zen Buddhism and the expression wabi-sabi inform the bonsai tradition in that culture. A lengthy catalog of conventional tree shapes and styles also helps provide cohesion to the Japanese styling tradition. A number of other cultures around the world have adopted the Japanese approach to bonsai, and while some variations have begun to appear, most hew closely to the rules and design philosophies of the Japanese tradition. Penjing, a Chinese form of container-grown tree, predates and is the origin of bonsai. It has a distinct aesthetic, however, as does the art of saikei, Japanese miniature multi-tree landscapes in a container. Over centuries of practice, the Japanese bonsai aesthetic has encoded some important methods and aesthetic guidelines. Like the t
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