The Tiny Bonsai Forests of Masahiko Kimura

Masahiko Kimura is a Japanese bonsai artist famous for pioneering the ‘bonsai forest’ trend, in which several bonsai trees are planted on interlocking wood or stone slates, forming tiny, whimsical forests.

Kimura started out in the world of bonsai art at the age of 15, as an apprentice to bonsai master Motosuke Hamano, at Toju-en Bonsai Garden in Saitama, Japan. After 11 years, a young Masahiko Kimura decides to pursue bonsai art on his own, and ends up creating some of the most controversial bonsai artworks ever. It’s hard to refer to bonsai art as ‘controversial’, but Kimura’s style did ruffle a few feathers among purists of the art at first, as many of them considered that he was breaking too many of the craft’s ancient traditions.

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Japanese Company Wants to Sell You These Awesome Levitating Bonsai Trees

Bonsai – the art of growing miniature trees in shallow pots – is pretty cool in itself, but a Japanese company is taking it to the next level with ‘Air Bonsai’an invention that has the miniature trees levitate and rotate about half an inch above their pots.

Considering how mindblowing the effect is, it’s easy to mistake Air Bonsai for an optical illusion, but it is in fact quite real. Hoshinchu, the company developing the product, apparently wanted to incorporate elements of our galaxy into the idea of miniature plants. So their creation consists of two main components – ‘little star’ and ‘energy base’.

The little star is a levitating moss ball that you can transplant any bonsai plant into. It also has a rotating mechanism that runs on an AC adaptor. The energy base is made of Imari, a traditional Japanese porcelain art. It conducts magnetic energy that makes the plant float. The system is similar to the one used in OM/ONE speakers. “Each Air Bonsai is unique,” the page states, “ranging from elegant flowering plants, bold ‘matsu’ (pines), to delightful mosses.”

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