What is the Meaning of Bonsai?

Bonsai Miniature Tree

The ancient art of creating miniaturized trees is known under the name of “bonsai”. It is commonly believed that this phenomenon is Japanese. Nevertheless, it’s a known fact that it ascended from Chinese “”pot landscape”, penjing.

Nowadays we call it a bonsai tree if it was carefully pruned and thus made miniature. It is done so that to mimic mature trees. The art symbolizes the life harmony and reflects people’s respect to the beauty of nature. However, bonsai meaning of this art form has changed a bit with the time. For example, for Japanese people bonsai represents the harmony between a man, nature, and the soul. The Buddhist monks, at the same time, were convinced that bonsai was a symbol of prestige and honor.

The shape of the tree is as significant as the size. The meaning varies according to the shape.

The tree can be grown "formal upright" and that will symbolize tranquility and strength; "informal upright" (that is a curved trunk ) represents steadiness through change; an angled trunk is called slanting and means stable under stress; a trunk can bend horizontally - in such a case it gets the name “semi-cascade”, and such a plant means staying strong in difficult time. The tree can also be "cascade" (the trunk will curve down, the branches will hang below the container ). This shape reflects change through challenges.

Meaning of Bonsai