Bonsai is a highly involved, time-consuming lifestyle. It’s more than a hobby. It’s a discipline. It requires study. Intense focus. And you have to learn many skills. You want your little trees to look balanced and harmonious.
The transcendent, exquisite art of bonsai.
Though bonsai is a Japanese term, the art actually originated in China. In China it is called penjing. The purpose of the art is to depict miniature landscapes. And no better way to do this than with miniature trees.
The small bonsai trees that you see did not start out that way. They are from the seeds of regular sized trees. But through potting, pruning, and shaping they confine the tree to its small stature.
Is it cruelty? Is it not letting a tree reach its full potential? Or is the tree happy and eager to lend itself to a wonderful art?