"It is not only the length of its lifespan that distinguishes the immobile tree from birds that fly, fish that swim, and men and beasts that walk over the earth; it is also the only living thing that creates, within itself, annual rings spelling out the history of its life." Bonsai, dwarf trees, contain "a record of our ancestors' trials and tribulations" in "less space than a man can encompass with his arms." This (ironically) oversize book includes 200 full-color and black-and-white photographs of Japanese specimens ranging in age from a mere five to 1000 years, and from the cheerful winter jasmine, bedecked with yellow blooms, to wizened junipers with twisted limbs. Bonsai specialists Naka, Aragaki and Marushima detail history, cultivation and stylistic nuances. Presented in an oddly luxe fashion for such an understated art, the trees--bathed in startlingly unambiguous light-appear larger than life, but more legible for that. A Garden Book Club selection." -Publishers Weekly
"This sumptuous, oversize book features over 200 high-quality color and black-and-white photos of classic bonsai selected from a 12-volume series published in Japanese for specialist growers. The photos illustrate bonsai of various ages, including examples that are hundreds of years old. An appendix of brief descriptive comments for each plant gives valuable information including age and size. A narrative section provides background on the history of Japanese bonsai and good descriptions of growth styles of various types. This pricey but beautiful book focuses on examples of classic bonsai that will inspire growers and collectors." -Library Journal
.".. Exemplifies one of the most unique art forms in the world." -The Bloomsbury Review
The Nippon Bonsai Association, Japan's pre-eminent voice of the bonsai tradition, introduces a collection of the finest bonsai pieces to be found in Japan today - some of them presented to a Western audience for the first time. Over 130 full-colour and 71 black-and-white plates of priceless specimens with informative commentary provide a definitive tour of the bonsai world from a 15-year-old flowering cherry to a majestic 1,000-year-old Yezo spruce. The notes for each piece offer insights into the balance, style, harmony, and overall aesthetic effect along with comments on the history of its cultivation at the hands of several generations of bonsai masters.