Portland Japanese Garden: American Bonsai

Portland Japanese Garden: American Bonsai

The Unbridled Art of Ryan Neil

“It’s bonsai. As in ‘bone’ and ‘sigh.’”

But, artist Ryan Neil said he’s loosened up over the years on the issue of pronunciation.

“Bonsai” is a Japanese word, but the context for cultivating trees in shallow containers originated in China as an art form known as penjing. Penjing was a practice rooted in Buddhism that connected man to the environment and brought the spirit of wild places closer to home. It migrated to Japan with Buddhism, as a spiritual practice, and slowly evolved into bonsai under the influence of Japanese culture.

Read the full piece by the Portland Japanese Garden here.