History of Bonsai

Views: 13353 | Last Update: 2008-07-10
History of Bonsai - Provided by eHow
Learn about the history of the ancient Chinese art of growing the bonsai tree, in this free video. View Video Transcript

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Mike Hansen

Video Transcript

I’d like to talk a little bit about the history of bonsai, where did this all come from. It’s an interesting subject and a fair amount of research has been done on it over time. Much to our chagrin we really don’t know a specific point in time when bonsai because what it is, where it is today. We do know that it probably originated in China. There was a fresco, which is a painting, in a tomb of a Chinese prince that was dated in 706 A.D. that shows one of the prince’s servants presenting one of his bonsai trees to him in his afterlife. So we know that it goes back that far, probably farther. The style that we know, or are most familiar with in this country, or are most familiar with in this country, came from Japan originally. Although the Japanese got it from the Chinese, we believe when the Buddhist monks migrated from China to Japan they brought with them bonsai as part of their culture. There’s a fair amount of written history about bonsai in Japan. But, bonsai came to this country probably about the time that the Japanese – American people emigrated from Japan. But it was kept very private and very quiet. It was not displayed and was not shown publicly. However, after World War II a lot of the American GI’s came home and they were really excited about these little miniature trees they saw in Japan. Of course, following World War II the Japanese – American people that were in internment camps were allowed back to their homes and so forth and one thing led to another. It’s been since World War II that bonsai has become popular in both the United States and Europe as well.