"Japanese Dwarf Trees" from Brooklyn Daily Eagle

      "The Wonderful Chrysanthemum Show in Prospect Park" (1900), the fourth of seven paragraphs about a display that had been going on for nearly a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the conservatory there:

       "There is a peculiar propriety in the Japanese arrangement of the chrysanthemums and orchids in the flower exhibit, and there is a happy symbolism in the garden and its fountain.  Scattered over the miniature lawns are a number of the Japanese little trees, the liliputian oaks and cedars and maples which travelers tell us are held to be the crowning triumph of horticulture in a land where horticulture is a passion.  These pigmies of the arboreal world, perfect in every detail of outward shape, are, some of them, more than 100 years old, and yet the branches which their ancestral forefathers threw abroad to the winds of heaven are barely 6 inches in length and the leaves so small as to be almost unnoticed.  This ocular evidence of the power of man to mould to his will by patient endeavor the forces of nature is symbolic to the Japanese of all the prevailing unity and the dominant influence of conscious mind.  It means to him that through the influence of an environment the character and perception of man may grow until it reaches the stature of his god-like ideal, or may, by confining, narrowing influences, be stunted and dwarfed until it remains only a miniature of itself.
       "But, after all, the orchids and chrysanthemums themselves are more truly typical and more obviously symbolic of the Japanese art as it is to-day than the trees..." 1


1     Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 11, 1900, pg. 16

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