Basic Rules of Japanese Bonsai

Bonsai is not a potted plant, It must combine these three elements, artistic harmony of pot and plant, natural scenery drawn on pot, nature’s repetition in the pot. Bonsai pioneers have rules that they have experienced over a long time. It is the highroad to make a bonsai with value for appreciation, if you respect each tree’s personality and follow the rules as below.

1 Front and Back

Bonsai has two sides. Make trees on the premise that will be appreciated from the front so that it will be in a forward tilted posture towards the front.

Front view 

Make sure that the branches do not cross the trunk so that the trunk can be seen from the front.


Side view

Looking from the side, the side which feels like a bow is directed to the front.


2 Create a flow

Create a flow other than Chokkan (straight trunk) form. First of all, check the original flow of trees. And let’s emphasize the flow by wiring and tilting toward the flow side.

To keep balanced by placing the branch opposite against a strong branch of the flow side. The branch on the opposite side to the flow is better balanced if it is directed downward.

3 Put a volume on the top

You can make a calm figure like an old tree even in young trees by repeatedly bud picking and leaf cutting and densely growing the branches and leaves of the head.

4 Trim the contour into a scalene triangle

Except for the Chokkan(straight trunk) and The Moyougi, shape it so that the outline is a scalene triangle. You can emphasize the flow to either the left or the right, or express your movement.

There are various other rules besides this.

1. From the root to the tip, there is no extreme dent or bulging, and it gradually becomes narrow.

2. It is ideal that branches are arranged right and left balance with respect to the trunk.

3. The branch tip faces somewhat upward and has a vibrant expression looking for sunlight.

4. The distance between the branches gradually narrows toward the upper side. Branches also become thinner.

Besides, since it looks like a big tree in bonsai, the smaller the leaves are, the more valuable it is.