TABLE OF CONTENTS
About the Transliteration Used vii
PART I (To A.D. 1100)
General History and Ecology (part 1) 1
Dwarfed and Potted Trees (part 1) 11
General History and Ecology (part 2) 16
Dwarfed and Potted Trees (part 2) 30
General History and Ecology (part 3) 33
Dwarfed and Potted Trees (part 3) 41
Portrayals in the Arts 49
Some Gaps in the Record 51
End Notes 52
General History and Ecology (part 1) 60
Dwarfed and Potted Trees (part 1) 68
General History and Ecology (part 2) 70
Dwarfed and Potted Trees (part 2) 74
End Notes 75
Some Other Lands
General History and Ecology 77
Some Gaps in the Record 194
End Notes 95
PART II (1100 to 1800)
General History and Ecology (part 1) 97
Dwarfed and Potted Trees (part 1) 100
General History and Ecology (part 2) 104
Dwarfed and Potted Trees (part 2) 112
Portrayals in the Arts 123
Western Commentators 127
Some Gaps in the Record 130
End Notes 131
General History and Ecology (part 1) 137
Dwarfed and Potted Trees (part 1) 142
General History and Ecology (part 2) 151
Dwarfed and Potted Trees (part 2) 157
Portrayals in the Arts 165
Western Commentators 180
Some Gaps in the Record 183
End Notes 185
Some Other Lands
General History and Ecology 196
Dwarfed and Potted Trees 204
End Notes 209
PART III (1800 to 1945)
General History and Ecology 211
Portrayals in the Arts 214
Western Commentators 216
Dwarfed and Potted Trees 228
Some Gaps in the Record 229
End Notes 230
General History and Ecology (part 1) 233
Dwarfed and Potted Trees (part 1) 235
General History and Ecology (part 2) 240
Dwarfed and Potted Trees (part 2) 243
General History and Ecology (part 3) 252
Dwarfed and Potted Trees (part 3) 255
Portrayals in the Arts 264
Western Commentators 270
Some Gaps in the Record 291
End Notes 292
Some Other Lands
General History and Ecology 305
Dwarfed and Potted Trees 308
Some Gaps in the Record 315
End Notes 316
North America (from early colonial times to 1945)
General History and Ecology 319
Dwarfed and Potted Trees 332
Some Gaps in the Record 350
End Notes 351
PART IV (1945 to present)
China, Hong Kong and Taiwan
General History and Ecology 356
Dwarfed and Potted Trees 359
Portrayals in the Arts 374
Some Gaps in the Record 376
End Notes 377
General History and Ecology 381
Dwarfed and Potted Trees 384
Some Gaps in the Record 402
End Notes 403
General History and Ecology 409
Dwarfed and Potted Trees 413
Large Collections 445
Some Gaps in the Record 454
End Notes 455
Some Other Lands
General History and Ecology 466
Dwarfed and Potted Trees 467
Some Gaps in the Record 491
End Notes 492
Part V - Futures 497
End Notes 506
Chronology of Notable Previous Histories and Future Studies 507
Books About 509
By-Lined Specialized Periodical Articles 526
Historical Articles About 533
Technical Terminology 550
SUMMARY OF A HISTORY OF BONSAI AND PENJING
PART I (to the year 1100 C.E.; 22% of main text)CHINA
The pen bowl of neolithic pottery became one of the bronze ritual vessels and then a ceramic tray for miniature landscapes. An outgrowth of the primitive religions developed into a more sophisticated theology/cosmology formalized by Confucius and Lao Zi into Confucianism and Daoism, respectively: these evolved with the different political influences until Confucianism gained court favor. Daoism then merged with the primitive religious beliefs; Buddhism was introduced and gained a hold, and these two went back-and-forth in political favor. Daoism influenced the Dhyana school of Buddhism from India, which became "Chan" in China, emphasizing meditative and mystical experiences over book learning. Both faiths sought out isolated locations for temples where nature was mystically embraced. Representations of these locales were developed in smaller scale as private and royal gardens (which had developed from earlier royal hunting grounds) and also as tray landscapes. Both forms were concentrated symbols of the universe. Depictions of the sacred mountains in bronze or ceramic gave way to stone models, xiao-shan, which sometimes used miniature plants, pen-wan. Dwarf potted trees had early portrayals on wall murals and scrolls.
The primitive foundations of Shintō became more sophisticated as the neolithic tribes developed into clans, with the Yamato clan achieving political and spiritual authority over the others. Contacts with the continent brought Chinese civilization to the islands. Many characteristics were replicated or adapted to Japanese needs, including Buddhism with its use of floral altar arrangements and incense burners in the form of miniature mountains.
SOME OTHER LANDS
Egypt, Sumeria, Babylonia, Assyria, Persia, Greece, and Rome -- the development of gardens and botanical knowledge in each of these Chinese trading partners is briefly described to show what each might have contributed to the idea of miniature tray landscapes. Civilization in India is also reviewed, including the birth and development of Buddhism, and what might have been passed on with that religion.
PART II (1100-1800; 24% of main text)CHINA
The Northern and Southern schools of painting and classical art of gardening developed through the centuries of native and outside rule (Mongols, Manchus). Horticultural writings showed attitudes toward viewing stones and miniature landscapes (xiezi-jing and pen-jing) of increasing sophistication, and related religious-philosophical concepts. Individually potted trees were termed pen-cai. Styles of pottery in use changed. Scrolls, paintings, woodblock prints, and porcelains portrayed some of this development. Initial European contacts with China commented upon the Asian horticulture.
The arrival of Chan Buddhism, here developed and pronounced as "Zen," had a vast influence upon political and cultural life. The rising warrior class gained power and embraced Zen. There was additional Chinese input, but also influence of nationalistic and/or Shint_ philosophies. The literati/bunjin philosophy was developed, while other gardens and dwarf potted plants (hachi-no-ki) were Buddhist meditational aids. These were partially recorded in horticultural writings and portrayals in scrolls, paintings, woodblock prints, Noh theater, and lacquers. European/Christian activities were persecuted as some missionaries become more influential and intolerant. The lone foreign outpost/window was then at Deshima in Nagasaki harbor. Initial European contacts commented upon Japan's horticulture.
SOME OTHER LANDS
The West's comprehension of the East was primarily due to legends and myths. There was increasing appreciation of native botany. The topiary revival of the Renaissance continued the development of horticulture which eventually included first attempts at Chinese styles based on missionary and trader reports. Three missions from Japan to Europe brought some exposure to both cultures. What would have been required to bring dwarf potted trees to Europe successfully is reviewed, including the early botanical collection logistics.
PART III (1800-1945; 28% of main text)CHINA
The decline of the Imperial power and civil unrests (Taiping, Boxer) were followed by the Republic and then the rise of the Kuomintang and Communists. Much of the dwarf potted tree art from this time is known by way of Western commentators: Livingstone, Fortune, Wilson, McClure. Painting and photographs provided limited portrayals. The Lingnan School of wireless training was established.
The opening of its doors to the rest of the world was followed by the Imperial Restoration and Meiji, Taisho, and early Showa eras. Bunjin influenced a now true art of trained dwarfed potted trees, tentatively called bon-sai. Scrolls and paintings depict changes in cultural tastes and increased public interest. Containers and newer plants were developed, wire became an important training aid, and organizations and magazines were started. The Bonsai Village at Ōmiya was established because of the 1923 Earthquake, and there were major pre-war exhibitions. European commentators included Siebold, Fortune, Rein, Farrer, Du Cane, and Newsom.
Colonial and post-colonial botanical studies and horticulture were added to by the influential China trade. The States' growth included California and the territory of Hawaii. International Expositions and lesser bonsai displays led to the few pre-war teachers and Westerners who attempted the art or its cousin, dish gardening. Asian immigration restrictions culminated in WWII internment.
SOME OTHER LANDS
Improved collection and transportation techniques brought a rich bounty of Eastern flora to the West. The Industrial Revolution gave rise to International Exhibitions which provided the first large scale experiences with dwarfed potted trees from Japan and China. A few Europeans imported or cared for some of these trees.
PART IV (1945-present, 24% of main text)CHINA
The national culture and arts were influenced by the Communists, who acted both as patron and destroyer. Post-Mao exhibitions and clubs began, including Wu Yee-sun's work in Hong Kong, and some activities in Taiwan. The basic Northern and Southern schools of pen-jing/artistic pot plant design are summarized.
The Occupation Period and economic rise provided a background for restoration of trees and renewed interest in bonsai, bonseki, and related arts. The Nippon Bonsai Association was established and assorted magazines and books were published, including a few in English. Newer national exhibitions and modern day masters are reviewed.
The postwar culture saw the early independent and club activities with bonsai. More and more books in English coincided with national and international organizations, conventions, and trips abroad. The large public collections are covered.
SOME OTHER LANDS
Interest, developments, and native styles in some other countries in the Americas, Asia, Europe, South Africa, and Australia/New Zealand are reviewed.
PART V (Futures; 2% of main text)
Speculations on the continuing development of these related arts: displays, standards, materials, documentation, history updates, workshops and education, etc.