Trees considered members of the family by bonsai master

Etsuyoshi Iwata
Etsuyoshi Iwata

By Howard Dashefsky -


NAGOYA, Japan (KHNL) - Meticulous hard working and precise. Words that describe the Japanese work ethic. And those same characteristics are often applied outside the daily grind with the age old art of bonsai.

For the Japanese bonsai represents a fusion between man, the soul, and nature. And for many the miniature trees are like family.

"They are almost more adorable than my children" said bonsai master Etsuyoshi Iwata.

"Until they die most people will just do whatever they can to love their tree, and adore them and grow them,and pass them on to the next generation".

Although the artof bonsai is mostly associated with the Japan, it originated in China more than a thousand years ago.

Once introduced to Japane, the artform was refined to a level never before seen and quickly became a symbol of prestige sand honor.

Most of these bonsai creations displayed at the annual Nagoya festival are more than 100 years old and some are worth more than 200 thousand dollars.

"It's not one generation, its generations after generations after generations they create the Bonsai trees to that size" said Iwata.

But these are the exception. In Japan today bonsai is no longer reserved for the upper class, but is a joy shared by everyone. And for bonsai master Iwata, it is a way to stay in touch with nature and a way to remain forever young.

"At the age of 75 I can be like young people because I have been touched by the Bonsai tree for over 40 years. That's one of the beautiful things about bonsai".