Very inviting, refreshing view on Modern/Minimalistic bonsai and landscapes
No technical or advanced wiring/styling techniques
When receiving this book from ofbonsai the first thing I noticed was the quality of the book and printing, Very solid well bound book with color pictures and thick pages, perfect for the heavy ready like myself. Getting into this book was very easy, the writing style is informative and to the point. As the book tells you, it is not for heavy wiring/styling techniques but instead geared towards a simple minimalistic view of bonsai. It is broken down into 5 different parts that address plantings with Moss, Moss and trees, Moss and Perennials, Moss trees and stones, then planters. He then walks through 37 projects.
Keshiki Bonsai – “If you love the look of traditional bonsai but don’t want to deal with its complicated rules and demands, then Keshiki Bonsai is for you. Nurture your own piece of nature”
Most of the material Kenji Kobayashi works with is very young and readily available from most nurseries or local bonsai merchants, and therefore this book is immediately applicable for new bonsai enthusiasts. Kenji does a great Job with breaking down the materials needed, the project outline, and then proceeds with step-by-step information with pictures by their side. Making it a fool-proof way to create a very similar image to what a true bonsai master creates.
With that said for the advanced bonsai enthusiast who owns a bonsai book or five, this book is also very appealing; throughout the book Kenji speaks with many different people such as contemporary artists, potters, glass worker and even textile and scarf maker. This for me was a pure gem to read, because bonsai is an Art form and it should be approached as a created display. And what better way to learn about display then to understand key facts from other artist on how they use space and design and color to create an appealing image, sometimes we have to step away from bonsai to see the true beauty in it. Kenji does a fantastic job of conveying this idea in his book.
Then to finish the book Kenji Kobayashi gives a list of plants he uses to create Keshiki Bonsai. Along with the list he gives a quick history of the plant and a quick care guide for each. Trees and plants he uses range from Evergreen trees, Deciduous Trees, Evergreen shrubs, Deciduous Shrubs, and Herbaceous Perennials. It’s really great to see the use of materials we don’t see commonly used especially here in the states. This book gives great ideas that really inspire accent plantings and the ability to enjoy bonsai year round and throughout your house, it was a great read.
[tabgroup][tab title=”Publishers Summary”]
Traditional bonsai can be complicated, time consuming, expensive, and steeped in history and tradition. But at its simplest, it’s really just a planting done in a container.
Keshiki bonsai is a revolutionary approach that involves creating living pieces of art using readily available plants and containers. This dazzling book features 37 stylish projects with easy, step-by-step instructions that anyone can follow. The projects start simple, with five designs that feature moss combined with unique containers. Readers then move on to six designs combining moss, small trees, and containers. The next ten projects add perennials to the mix, and the final projects have it all: moss, trees, perennials, and stones. Each project is made with a wide variety of containers, from the most delicate, artisan clay pot to a repurposed ramekin and a simple box.
Previously, the techniques, tips, and insights of keshiki bonsai were available only to Japanese enthusiasts. Now, for the first time, Western readers can join in creating these miniature masterpieces. Learn how a garden, a forest, or even a stream can come to life within the bounds of a small container.
[tab title=”What the Critics Say”]
Fussy, formal, painstaking, precise. Play a game of bonsai word-association, and those are the likely results. But not with a new style of bonsai developed by engineer turned designer Kobayashi. One look at his imaginative approach to this often fastidious process, and the terms fresh, whimsical, airy, and clean come to mind. Inspired by the revered principles of this ancient botanical art yet reinvented to reflect the contemporary lifestyles of young urbanites, Kobayashi’s innovative, modernist technique celebrates nature, communicating the majesty of a dense forest, for instance, through the refined use of a single pine seedling. Designed to be quickly assembled and easily maintained, these miniature gems of moss, trees, grasses, and perennials are tiny enough to fit anywhere yet bold enough to make a dynamic impact. Along with clear illustrations, well-organized directions, and helpful resources, in-depth examinations of more than three-dozen alluring projects are augmented by profiles of artists whose expertise in iron making, ceramics, and textiles cleverly complement Kobayashi’s avant-garde designs. –Carol Haggas
“I must admit that after reading [Kobayashi’s] book I’m ready to try my hand at one of the garden arts I had considered beyond my ability. … One gets a nice feel for his enchanting personal landscape, a sort of bonsai gestalt that may inspire many more trees to be grown in Brooklyn.”
—New York Times Book Review
“These miniature gems … are tiny enough to fit anywhere yet bold enough to make a dynamic impact.”
“Contains easy-to-follow, step-by-instructions to create counter-intuitive (and simplified) bonsai landscapes.”
[tab title=”About the Author”]
Kenji Kobayashi studied engineering and landscape design in his native Japan before the art of miniature landscapes captivated his imagination. After returning to Japan he immersed himself in the study of bonsai and created the style he calls keshiki bonsai, or literally, landscape bonsai. He opened his shop, Sinajina, in Tokyo, where he creates and sells modern bonsai as well as other handcrafted home decor items.
[tab title=”Disclosure”]Stefan received this book fore review from ofBonsai who recived it from the Timber Press for review.[/tab][/tabgroup]