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Friday, March 23, 2018

Tour of The Imperial Arts Exhibit of Bonsai and Cherry Blossom Trees and learn the history



Over the years Bonsai, the Japanese art form of cultivating small trees that mimic full size trees, has advanced to have many different styles that closely resemble circumstances found in nature.  Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penzai or penjing from which the art originated, and the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese hòn non bộ. 



In nature, the trees grow upright, slanting, solo, in pairs, in plains, or clinging to rocks.  They’re also found in dry, wet, warm, cool, windy, and still environments.  These various stresses of nature are reflected in their shapes and Bonsai artists look to what nature creates when producing their own bonsai.  Thus making them so much more than just a miniature tree in a container.  In this exhibit, you will find many examples of bonsai styles along with some explanations.  

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In the other half of the cultural center, you’ll find sakura themed items. Though Sakura (Cherry Blossom) trees can be found in the middle northern or southern part of China (the area nearby the sea) as well as in South Korea, they are best known as being the iconic image of spring in Japan. 

Every year, the sakura zensen (cherry blossom front) is tracked as the flowers bloom –first in Okinawa, then upwards towards Kyoto and Tokyo, and finally in the higher altitudes in Hokkaido. All across Japan Hanami (flower viewing) festivals celebrate the beauty of the delicate cherry blossom.  

With all the petals, it should come as no surprise that these little flowers have a tremendous cultural significance on Japan.  This exhibit contains just a fraction of the food, drinks, and other items that sakura have influenced. 

Don't forget to stop by the gift shop for: bonsai, sakura sake, sakura latte, sakura kokeshi doll, sakura pepsi, and sakura donuts! 

Imperial Arts

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