...... there are several print interpretations of this wonderful story, 3 of which are offered in our Gallery. We are always on the lookout for others as these feature Bonsai as the primary subject of the work.

Also known as "The Stranger of the Forest",[Reprinted in Phyliss Argall's, Dwarf Trees in the Japanese Mode, 1964] this famous Bonsai legend dating to the 14th Century was incorporated into a popular play titled, "Hachi-no-ki." [The Potted Trees]

Briefly, a man dressed as a Bhuddist monk stops at a poor farmhouse for the night where the residents, an old man and his wife offer to provide shelter. They are poor, but very dignified and share a humble meal with their guest. Having no firewood to prepare their food or heat their small home, they sacrifice three masterpiece Bonsai, remnants of their former life and higher status.

Their guest, who is in fact the Shogun of their territory who has been traveling the countryside to better learn the conditions of his people, returns to his estates and some time afterwards summons the old man, a former samurai.

At an important festival, the Shogun rewards his generous host with three estates, named for the three trees which were lost....Plum, Cherry and Pine.

The following is a link to the excellent website of the Phoenix Bonsai Society which provides additional information about this fascinating theatrical work.


©2010 Katsura Forest, All Rights Reserved