When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:39 pm

It is hard to get past the "tree in a pot/tray/container" definition of the word bonsai. When going thtough the books I have, there have been definitions and/or Japanese terms for 2-handed+ trees, to upwards of 10-handed trees. The names themselves would indicate the ability to be moved and by how many hands it would take to do so. So why not 1-crane trees, 2-crane trees, etc.

One of my earlier Ficus benjaminas was planted (and remains currently) in a rubber livestock feeding tub with holes drilled in the bottom. Shocked

It can be found at: http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/2697416350012575884oPZFFl

forbey

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  fiona on Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:41 pm

morten albek wrote: What is the meaning of this discussion? What does it lead to?
The post has a long history, Morten, and if you really, really have nothing better to do, you could go right back to the very beginning (about a hundred pages ago) where it explains itself. It was all to do with another poster who wanted to put a number of trees of different speces into a large wooden patio planter - essentially create a patio garden but trimming the trees as bonsai. The question I made the mistake of asking was "does a bonsai have to have a recognised bonsai container (pot, suiban, slab etc) to be considered a true bonsai. The general consensus is yes it does but there has been a, shall we say, lively debate on the issue.

morten albek wrote:Bonsai means a tree in a pot. That’s it - almost.
On this topic, there have been some immensely interesting discussions on the meaning of the morphemes and of the graphemes that make up what we know as the word bonsai. It's been quite fascinating, especially since at most talks I've been to on bonsai, the speaker usually starts with a sentence like "Of course, Bonsai means a tree in a pot." The experts have given a new dimension to my understanding.

Anyway, we've got a choice here: we either keep this thread going and see if we can "run up a ton" of posts (for non-UK colloquial speakers, this means "reach 100"), or I can send it down to my Dad's retirement home where it can sit in the armchair next to him and look out over the Ailsa course at Tiger Woods and co. Unless of course Rob K took up my invitation and is already occupyiing that seat.

BTW what actually is the record for number of posts on one thread? Someone will know.

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  John Quinn on Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:44 pm

Click on Statistics on the bottom of the page...this is currently ranked only fourth! Cool

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  fiona on Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:47 pm

John Quinn wrote:Click on Statistics on the bottom of the page...this is currently ranked only fourth! Cool
I've been looking for a stats page and can't find one. Is it not something only Moderators have access to?

What's coming in at No. 1 in the Top Ten, in terms of number of posts?

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  Garykk on Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:51 pm

This is a bonsai. As a matter of fact, I liked it as much in this setting with existing branches as I do in its new home....a pot.

__gary



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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  fiona on Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:56 pm

Gary. Have you been following Peter Thali's post The King in the last hour? If not, go to the last few posts on it by him and look at the trees there and tell me if you think they are "bonsai" or not? It rather opens the discussion up.

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  Garykk on Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:40 pm

As Peter suggests he doesn't like Japanese bonsai as much as natural bonsai. Maybe there needs to be another word for a natural bonsai growing in the wilds created by Mother nature. How about a bonsai nativus. Smile

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  John Quinn on Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:53 pm

fionnghal wrote:
John Quinn wrote:Click on Statistics on the bottom of the page...this is currently ranked only fourth! Cool
I've been looking for a stats page and can't find one. Is it not something only Moderators have access to?

What's coming in at No. 1 in the Top Ten, in terms of number of posts?
It's on the bottom of my page between "Free Forum Support" and "Contribution"; if it's not there for you, it likely is available only to those with moderator privileges.
Some pots for the new gallery ranks first.
And, Fionna, it appears that you currently hold the Yellow Jersey for July in terms of the number of posts! bounce Cool

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  Rob Kempinski on Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:56 pm

Lee Kennedy wrote:let's all just thank god that BONSAI is a japanese pastime and as such is inherently bound by there ways,traditions and definitions.

Lee old buddy, bonsai is now an English word with Japanese entomology. And Bonsai is certainly not only a Japanese past time. In fact the Chinese will argue that it is a Chinese invention.

BTW, the bonsai world is going to have the eyes opened in the next few years as the west learns more about Chinese bonsai. For example, at the recent WBFF Competition, the top three places were won by Chinese bonsai - picked over trees from all over the globe. As BCI Vice President I have been witnessing our growth in China and let me tell you - it is very impressive. Remember there are 1.5 billion Chinese and most of them know about bonsai or as they would call it "p'en tsai."

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  John Quinn on Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:01 pm

[quote="Rob Kempinski"]

Lee old buddy, bonsai is now an English word with Japanese entomology...quote]
Oh no, now we're gonna start a bug thread! Wink
I'd have to agree with Rob's position though!

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  DaveP on Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:25 pm

Rob Kempinski wrote:Remember there are 1.5 billion Chinese and most of them know about bonsai or as they would call it "p'en tsai."

I'm figuring that out of 1.5 billion people, they've got the numbers advantage in potential for producing superior trees. ;-) So this doesn't surprise me at all. Having a few good Chinese friends also has helped open their world of what we call bonsai. While the feel of their trees differ, the concept is unchanged regardless. The concept behind the "word" (same morpheme, different pronunciation) is identical in China and Japan. As far as what it means, I've been there several times and would likely be strung up for rehashing it again. affraid

Kindest~
-d

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  fiona on Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:28 pm

John Quinn wrote: Some pots for the new gallery ranks first.
If you reply to this, I'll at least have equalled Mr Bailey's Bonsai IS Art thread.

John Quinn wrote:And, Fionna, it appears that you currently hold the Yellow Jersey for July in terms of the number of posts!
Ah rumbled! It's this thing called school holidays. We teachers really don't have much else to do apart from play with our trees (yep, it's a hard life), sit and watch international golf tournaments from our dads' windows (ditto) and set meaningless targets such as beating posting records.

But as I've said at least four times recently, this post has gone well past its sell-by date (Or as Vance said, we are reinventing the turd! scratch )and maybe it should be humanely put down.

Pity about not getting access to the Stats board tho' - I was going to change my user name to Anne Orak. (That comment might not work outside the UK)

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:39 pm

What kind of TURD is it?

We might be able to HARVEST it for tree food! Twisted Evil

forbey

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  Lee Kennedy on Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:43 pm

Rob Kempinski wrote:
Lee Kennedy wrote:let's all just thank god that BONSAI is a japanese pastime and as such is inherently bound by there ways,traditions and definitions.

Lee old buddy, bonsai is now an English word with Japanese entomology. And Bonsai is certainly not only a Japanese past time. In fact the Chinese will argue that it is a Chinese invention.

BTW, the bonsai world is going to have the eyes opened in the next few years as the west learns more about Chinese bonsai. For example, at the recent WBFF Competition, the top three places were won by Chinese bonsai - picked over trees from all over the globe. As BCI Vice President I have been witnessing our growth in China and let me tell you - it is very impressive. Remember there are 1.5 billion Chinese and most of them know about bonsai or as they would call it "p'en tsai."

What the chinese practise isnt bonsai as such,the scale and "perfectness" differ widely,penjing etc is vastly different,just because you have tree's in a pot cannot mean they are the same thing,after all karate and judo are'nt the same thing,but doesnt everyone like kung~fu fighting???like it or lump it most BONSAI people practise the japanese art,you get a few who try to be clever and put a naturalistic/nationalistic/regionalistic slant on it,but for the most part these are just snake oil merchants,vive la japan!


No Gary that is not bonsai that is a SHRUB Idea

Lee Kennedy
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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:51 pm

OK, now I have to add something VAGUELY INTELLIGENT. Very Happy

The Chinese INVENTED bonsai, the Japanese adopted it and made it something a tad different. BOTH are bonsai, by whatever names you call them. Both are respected manefestations of the cultures they are part of. To say the Chinese bonsai isn't bonsai is absurd.

It's like saying Belgian waffles aren't waffles because they aren't the same as you buy from the store.

forbey Rolling Eyes


Last edited by forbey on Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:56 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  Garykk on Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:55 pm

Post mortem bonsai nativus.....

__gary


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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  Lee Kennedy on Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:59 pm

forbey wrote:OK, now I have to add something VAGELY INTELLIGENT. Very Happy

The Chinese INVENTED bonsai, the Japanese adopted it and made it something a tad different. BOTH are bonsai, by whatever names you call them. Both are respected manefestations of the cultures they are part of. To say the Chinese bonsai isn't bonsai is absurd.

It's like saying Belgian waffles aren't waffles because they aren't the same as you buy from the store.

forbey Rolling Eyes
So i take it champagne is still champagne if it's grown outside the champagne region? belgian beer is the same as german beer?a ferrari or a fiat?Rump or fillet steak?
chinese practise penjing etc,it is vastly different more suggestion of a landscape is the normal,how many mudmen does kimura put in his pots? incidentally some of his rock plantings almost have a penjing feel through the suggestion of a landscape,but it's still the tree and container which is different.

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:09 pm

P'en tsing is Chinese for Tree in a pot. Bonsai is Japanese for Tree in a pot. Same concept, different word. The Chinese startred it (maybe the Indians, from India) either way, the Japanese during their efforts to concur the world found p'en tsai and liked it. They took the word p'en tsai, which may have actually sounded to them lin bon-sai and kept that phrase. Either way, it's still a tre in a pot.

Champaign isn't GROWN anywhere!

It is the end result of making sparkling wine out of grapes grown and processed in the Champaigne Valley of France. Sparling wine, made anywhere else, still tickles the nose and excites the palet, they just can't use the trademarked name Champaigne.

German beer is crap, but so is American beer. They are both BEER, just because they were made somewhere else doesn't stop them from being BEER!

Too easy Drill Sargeant, too easy!

forbey

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  fiona on Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:12 pm

Garykk wrote:Post mortem bonsai nativus.....

__gary

I've got an actual bonsai (in a pot) that looks like that Embarassed Sad !

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  fiona on Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:25 pm

forbey wrote: Champaign isn't GROWN anywhere! It is the end result of making sparkling wine out of grapes grown and processed in the Champaigne Valley of France. Sparling wine, made anywhere else, still tickles the nose and excites the palet, they just can't use the trademarked name Champaigne.forbey
I can see your argument up to a point here as the same could be said of one of our favourite tipples - whisky. Whisky is whisky by dint of how and from what it is made. But to be called Scotch whisky a new set of "rules" is imposed which dictate it must be produced in Scotland and aged in a barrel for three years. It's still whisky by definition. However, having come to bonsai through the penjing route, and done a wee bit of research (I do not confess to being in any way an expert) into both, I can see quite clearly the differences mentioned by Lee. Just as Kung Fu (Chinese) and Karate (Japanese) are both martial arts, there are clear distinctions between the two which allow us to consider them as different, as there are in penjing and bonsai IMH(AndVeryTired)O. Yes both have "evolved" from a common ancestor, but so did you and I and Lee and possibly even Mr Tickle, but that doesn't make us all the same person.

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:55 am

fionnghal wrote:
forbey wrote: Champaign isn't GROWN anywhere! It is the end result of making sparkling wine out of grapes grown and processed in the Champaigne Valley of France. Sparling wine, made anywhere else, still tickles the nose and excites the palet, they just can't use the trademarked name Champaigne.forbey
I can see your argument up to a point here as the same could be said of one of our favourite tipples - whisky. Whisky is whisky by dint of how and from what it is made. But to be called Scotch whisky a new set of "rules" is imposed which dictate it must be produced in Scotland and aged in a barrel for three years. It's still whisky by definition. However, having come to bonsai through the penjing route, and done a wee bit of research (I do not confess to being in any way an expert) into both, I can see quite clearly the differences mentioned by Lee. Just as Kung Fu (Chinese) and Karate (Japanese) are both martial arts, there are clear distinctions between the two which allow us to consider them as different, as there are in penjing and bonsai IMH(AndVeryTired)O. Yes both have "evolved" from a common ancestor, but so did you and I and Lee and possibly even Mr Tickle, but that doesn't make us all the same person.

It's not that complicated.

Scotch, is in fact whiskey. The fine twist the Scots gave it, or maybe the feable attempts to copy it by others (chicken & egg thing) doesn't remove the fact that it is still whiskey, by virtue of the process used to create it. Even though you as a Scot and me of Scottish descent might consider going to blows over the argument, behind closed doors we still know it's Scotch Whiskey.)

Bonsai has evolved from it's beginnings. As it moved through time and culture it has changed. Even Chinese bonsai is somewhat different from what it was a few centuries ago. The Japanese, Koreans, Europeans, and everyone else has had their hands in it and made their "adjustments". Some would believe some of these adjustments were good, while others would assess them as bad, some would even say they were indifferent.

I work best, at the present, with tropicals and indoor bonsai. To many, even today, that is akin to sacrilage.

Had the Chinese not had their influence on bonsai, then the Japanese might have found entertainment in rasing insects or flowers or astronomy or whatever they found the Chinese were doing for entertaiment or peace. Either way, without the Chinese involvement in bonsai, Japanese wouldn't be the same as it is today. If China had invaded Japan instead, and FORCED the Japanese to follow the rules of bonsai as they developed them, we might also have had another outcome.

I believe bonsai has guidelines, to be followed when necessary and to be cast off in daring attempts at something new when the opportunity arises. Any bonsai hobbyist is, or should be, encourage to follow their passion. However, for someone to enter the discussion and look down their cyber nose at someone else for their approach to the art, I believe, is contrary to the purpose of the art.

Bonsai is what it is because of where it has been on the sourney for the perfect tree. Japanese bonsai would be different or non-existant had they not encountered Chines bonsai during their conquests.

We should all feel free to post our photos and hope someone sees in them what we see and understand that others will not. Why would I, or anyone else, want to spend time being negatively critical and risk screwing with someone's "art"?

Sorry, that was way to deep for an after dinner tour on the soapbox! Laughing

Slange,

forbey

Beyond that, I'm having fun in the debate.

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  fiona on Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:30 am

forbey wrote: Scotch, is in fact whiskey. The fine twist the Scots gave it, or maybe the feable attempts to copy it by others (chicken & egg thing) doesn't remove the fact that it is still whiskey, by virtue of the process used to create it. Even though you as a Scot and me of Scottish descent might consider going to blows over the argument, behind closed doors we still know it's Scotch Whiskey.)

I think we actually were saying the same thing here. And anyway, I believe we wouldn't come to blows over anything other than the fact that I would NEVER spell whisky with a "e" affraid

Can someone invent a tongue-in-cheek smiley please.

forbey wrote: Sorry, that was way to deep for an after dinner tour on the soapbox! Laughing
After dinner! Blooming heck - over here, it's tomorrow now!

Come on guys, another 3 posts to run up the ton, then I'm asking Mr Bailey to shoot this thread. Very Happy

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:08 pm

That's why I prefer Scotch... I can't spell whiskey Very Happy

I agree we were in agreement.

forbey

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  Garykk on Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:09 pm

Shinjuku gyoen ike bonsai goryotei
Imperial Park Japanese Garden Pond Bonsai

Well....I guess that just leveled the playing field Very Happy

Comps to photo pass Japan.com

__gary


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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:13 pm

How so?

It looks like the rock formation the tree is planted in could be moved and the tree could also be transplanted.

Is the "landscape they used qualified as a "container"?

What exactly is the term for a bonsai-like tree, planted in a landscape verses in a container?

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Re: When is a Bonsai not a Bonsai?

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