Category Archive: Bonsai Styles

Apr 16

Bonsai – Advanced Styles

Bankan (Twisted) Bonsai

Beyond the basic styles of chokkan (formal upright), shakan (informal upright), kengai (cascade) and so forth there are several that don’t fit neatly into those categories. The divisions are arbitrary to an extent, but like any specialty they evolve over time to help bonsai artists guide and discuss their work. Some of the more common …

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Dec 24

Bonsai Basic Styles, Part III

Kengai (Cascade) Bonsai

Kengai (Cascade) The cascade style is among the more beautiful and desired, but also more difficult to achieve. The trunk grows down below the level of the container, often twisting as it does so. In nature, a tree growing near a cliff subject to heavy snows, avalanches and wind may assume this inverted position. Those …

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Dec 24

Bonsai Basic Styles, Part II

Shakan (Slanting) Bonsai

Shakan (Slanting) Japanese bonsai artists have developed many intricate and detailed forms of bonsai, in which each element is positioned just so. This is evident in the shakan, or slanting, style. As the name suggests, the trunk is slanted, usually at a moderately steep angle, mid-way between an upright and a cascade style. The slant …

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Dec 24

Bonsai Basic Styles, Part I

Moyogi (Informal Upright) Bonsai

Over the centuries the artists of bonsai have developed hundreds of unique styles. But within this complexity there are a few that form the basis of most of the variations. Chokkan (Formal Upright) The simplest, but still exquisitely beautiful, is the chokkan or formal upright. Though still a miniature, this style most resembles the full …

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Dec 24

Bonsai – Unusual Styles

little bonsai

Beyond the basic styles of bonsai tree art, there are many wonderful variations. The individual aesthetic that each artist brings to the work allows for an infinite variety of forms. Group or Forest (Yose) The group display, often called the forest, is just what the name suggests – multiple bonsai trees residing in a single …

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