Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Japanese Bonsai, 1848

From the special collections of the National Agriculture Library of the US Department of Agriculture, beautiful images of Japanese bonsai from two 1848 volumes entitled, Tokaido Gojusan-eki Hachiyama Edyu.

I've never seen snow bonsai before...

The USDA library also has digital images from several important botanical volumes, and prints available for purchase.


West Coast Island Gardener said...

I am seeing fractals, stacking paver sculptures, and wondering what the succory seeds are that Thomas Jefferson eloquently requested when I followed your resourceful link to National Agriculture Library.

Not to mention how many folks minds I know that you have turned on with Playscapes.

Wayne Stratz said...

this is a fascinating site. glad I stumbled into the land of garden history

Andrew said...

5 years late, but I've only just found this delightful blog.

These Bonsai prints are closely based on Hiroshige's '53 views of Tokaido' series - presented in the same order as the original stations, in the same landscape. The details aren't exact, but close, down to the point of some of the little humans drawn in the bonsai prints being in the same position and location as on Hiroshige's 1843 Tokaido prints.

A good example; Bonsai print 16, (one you've not included in your overview but one of my favorite snow images in the parallel Tokaido series)


... compared to the Hoeido version of station 16 (at Kanbara, Japan).


The best place to compare the Bonsai prints to the Tokaido series is all of it's assorted 7 version, 53 station glory is here:


Thank you for the link to the USDA rare book collection. I'd not seen it before, and it's a treasure, as is your blog.

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