In this style the trunk is straight similar to the formal upright style. However, the slant style trunk emerges from the soil at an angle, and the apex of the bonsai will be located to the left or right of the nebari. This is one of the more difficult styles to achieve convincingly, as the eye of the viewer wants to be settled and grounded, feeling that the tree is secure and not tipping out of the composition. Most species are suitable for this style, as the style does bear similarity to informal upright. The first thickest branch should be placed on the opposing side of the angle of the lean. This balances the composition, keeping it from becoming more of a windswept look.
Advantages of Shakan
Is that it combines many styles of bonsai into one form. This allows us to bend the rules of similar styles in order to form an appealing slanting style bonsai. Also the motion and tension created with the slanting form give us an element of design that creates interest and power.
Disadvantage of Shakan
Is that the off-balance image of the tree leaving the ground at an angle can be hard to balance with the branching. We need to find and create a symmetrical balance in the tree, we want the longer branches facing opposite of the lean, otherwise it portrays a windswept image. We want to try to create a tree that holds more of a solid stable image then one of a windswept tree. While we use windswept characteristics it should be balanced with those of informal upright and formal upright branching structure.
Species suitable are:
- Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii)
- Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa)
- Juniper (Juniperus sp.)
- Spruce (Picea sp.)
- Olive (Olea sp.)
- Japanese White Pine (Pinus parviflora)
- Pine (Pinus sp.)