Enter the fascinating world of bonsai, the centuries-old gardening art form of cultivating trees as potted plants. Refined to a high art in Japan, bonsai offers not only the familiar gardening delights but also, at its highest levels, a philosophical and aesthetic communion with nature. Here in CLASSIC BONSAI OF JAPAN, the Nippon Bonsai Association, Japan's preeminent voice of the bonsai tradition, introduces a collection of the finest bonsai pieces to be found in Japan today-some of them presented to a Western audience for the first time. Over 130 full color and 48 black-and-white plates of priceless specimens with informative commentary provide a definitive tour of the bonsai world-from a 15-year-old flowering cherry to a majestic 1,000-year-old Yezo spruce. The notes for each piece offer insights into the balance, style, harmony, and overall aesthetic effect along with comments on the history of its cultivation at the hands of several generations of bonsai masters. John Bester brings his intimate knowledge of Japanese culture and sensibility to an elegant interpretation of bonsai art specifically adapted to Western readers. Essays on appreciation, history, and aesthetics further invite readers to enjoy this "natural" art on an informed level. A feast for the eyes as well as a lasting monument to the history of an artistic tradition, this deluxe volume is sure to delight the bonsai enthusiast, garden hobbyist, lover of things Japanese-indeed anyone with an interest in looking at art and nature in unison.Nippon Bonsai Association Staff is the author of 'Classic Bonsai of Japan', published 2003 under ISBN 9784770029928 and ISBN 4770029926.