Literati style - bunjingi Drawing by NICOGUSA. A lot of Thanks!
the name is from the Literati of imperial China
grown with a few branches and a thin trunk
Trees that suit this style are: ...
Literati trees, or Bunjingi, are the ones that have a long trunk, usually with curves, with a few small branches at the apex. The idea behind this tree is to show his struggle to survive in hard conditions.
A term evoking a minimal image of trunks and branches inspired by singular trees on horizons with striking silhouette with dead branches and a feeling of a hard life, and a tenuous grip on life.
Literati Bonsai style
In nature this style of tree is found in areas densely populated by many other trees and competition is so fierce that the tree can only survive by growing taller then all others around it.
The literati style, with its emphasis on trunk line and movement, demands roots that do not detract from that movement. A literati with no root visible is better than one showing heavy roots that compete with the trunk line, figures 13 & 14.
Figure 13. Roots too large.
Literati - Bumjin-gi style
Traditionally, juniper, spruce and pine are used in this elegant style.
Broom - Hokidachi style
This style is best suited to deciduous trees such as ginkgos, Japanese gray-bark elms and Japanese maple.
The literati or Bunjin-gi style bonsai has a skinny trunk with multiple curves and very few leaves. This is a very artistic display of the struggle in nature to preserve even the tiniest life form that it has.
This form is characterized by a tall, slender, crooked trunk with branches and foliage beginning very high up.
The style depicts a tree that has faced much competition and has struggled to reach light by growing taller than surrounding trees.
Literati Style (Bunjingi)
Usually there are only a very few branches towards the top of the tree. The trunks twist and curve several times without taper, and the top often only has a sparce collection of downwards leaning branches. They are normally in very small pots for the height of the tree.
Also known as the bunjin form, the Literati takes its name from an elite class of Chinese scholars who practiced in the arts. Their paintings had abstract, calligraphic forms that depicted trees growing in mountainous landscapes.
The literati style, or Bunjin-gi, bonsai is characterized by a generally bare trunk line, with branches reduced to a minimum, and typically placed higher up on a long, often contorted trunk. This style derives its name from the Chinese literati, who were often artists.
The literati style is characterized by a generally bare trunk line, with branches reduced to a minimum, and typically placed higher up on a long, often contorted trunk.
- Literati - Medium depth circular, inward pointing lip, square, hexagonal, unglazed
- Broom - Medium/shallow oval or round
- Weeping - Medium-depth square, hexagonal, round or octagonal ...
LITERATI/BUNJIN. Good literati is the essence of simplicity. I know a good literati when I see it, but only one in a hundred are really good and I still don't have one that satisfys me.
John Mellanby from Aberdeen, UK, says :
61-70 years old, practicing bonsai for over 10 years.
Literati, informal upright, cascade and windswept are all style possibilities for a sea grape bonsai.
New branches grow quickly.
Trunks develop less quickly, so for bonsai, it's best to begin with a heavy trunk.
Literati. Similar to elegant Sumi paintings long trunk with slight growth at top. Not heavy
Some Trees in Japanese
English Names. I have listed just a few here for general reference ...
Literati style- A bonsai style in which the trunk is long and slender and the foliage is sparse.
Mamé bonsai -A miniature bonsai under six inches tall. It is pronounced "maw-may".
Minor elements- Nutritional elements which are needed by plants, but in low dosages. Included ...
Literati (Bunjin) - Free form
Pierneef - Umbrella crown
Raft (Netsuranari) - Shoots sprouting from surface roots, or roots sprouting from a fallen trunk ...
"Literati Style". This style of bonsai is generally unconventional, often breaking well established rules.
The literati style is the hardest to define, but is seen often. The word literati is used in place of the Japanese "bunjin" which is a translation of the Chinese word "wenjen" meaning "scholars practiced in the arts".
The "literati" bonsai style. One of the basic styles. The idea behind Bunjingi is that in nature the tree, under adverse environmental conditions, has found its way to survive, being forced to contortions and unnormal shapes. (See also section Bonsai styles in Encyclopedia).
upright or informally upright trunk bare of branches except at the top, characterized by a tasteful simple elegance. hokidachi broom broom style trees have an upright trunk, with branches evenly fanned out. It resembles an old fashioned broom standing on its handle.
yose-ue Group ...
This styles is named for the Chinese scholars and the way they depicted trees in their paintings of rugged mountain sides. Trunks are sixty to eighty percent bare of branches and have little taper and lots of movement.
Bunjingi - literati
Ishitsuki - over rock
Pots come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The two things to watch for when buying pots for Bonsai is that there is at least one hole in the bottom of the pot to allow for good drainage and that the inside of the pot is not glazed.
Jack E. Billet
This type of tree is more of a feeling than a style. Most of the other styles, or even no style at all, can be used for Bunjin. It often deviates from the accepted guidelines. It must, however, have a sense of bonsai correctness and nature's logic.
The Bunjingi bonsai emulates trees growing in the wasteland soil of sandy
and barren areas. The trunks are thin from the bottom to top, the branches
are thin and sparse, and the overall form is thin and wiry. Moyogi trunks and ...
Free form (literati)
A sparse single upright trunk - straight,slanted, or curved characterized by a tasteful, simple elegance.
Literati (Bunjin) Long thin trunks that bend in difficult ways characterize this style. The foliage has the feel of cascading but the main flow of the tree is not necessarily flowing downward. On the contrary, the impression is one of contorting to grow around obstacles.
Bunjin - a traditional Japanese bonsai style; also called literati. This is a tree that has a tall, slender trunk with foliage growing only near the top; illustrating maturity and the casting off of material things.
Some other similar styles include Bunjingi or Literati Style (a few branches at the top of a long slanted trunk, usually in a small, shallow pot), and Fukinagashi Style (Windswept Style, with all the branches coming off one side of the trunk).
Kengai Style ...
literati trees are usually potted in round pots which can be primitive in design
cascade and semi cascade trees require deep pots, both for stability and visual balance
group plantings should be potted in large shallow pots or slabs of rock, allowing a natural landscape to be created ...
Slanting trunk, windswept or literati can all fall into shakan design. A leaning bonsai for instance, we know, will not fall over. The tree can be balanced with a root on the opposite side, keeping the tree from falling over. It should convey a positive feeling of stability.
I have played around with various styling options but feel the literati style utilises the best feature of the tree which is the visually-pleasing, twisting trunk.
I have had numerous problems with borers, which have unfortunately killed off some of the branches.
Other styles include the literati (bunjin-gi), which shows a bare trunk line and reduced number of branches, as well as foliage positioned on top of the contorted trunk.
This is a wonderful literati-styled tree. The artist made good use of the "less is more" philosophy with the foliage and the shari looks nice, but where did the artist influence the movement of the trunk? It is unchanged by man, except for the shari.
Premna is a perfect species for the expressionistic styles—literati, windswept or raft - and appeals to enthusiasts who like the natural jin and shari.
Right: Shohin Premna. Note the regular sized leaf at the bottom.
Fiction & Opinion
Before, bonsai care and design skill was limited to the much revered Lingnan prune-and-grow method developed by the ancient Chinese philosophers responsible for the Literati school of landscape painting and design.
When he finished his second demonstration, Danny had produced a beautiful, dramatic bonsai that combined elements of informal upright and bunjin (literati,) with one major branch in a cascade. And it is the first bonsai that I've ever seen with two fronts! ...
Some of the other styles that can be applied are twin trunk, root over rock, clasped to rock, group, broom, literati, windswept and exposed root.
You can also introduce variations on these styles - if you see a tree in nature that you would like to imitate go ahead and try it! ...
Example 2): The tree is maybe 30 cm in height, but because it is the "bunjin" style ("literati"), having few branches, little mass of leafs and therefore having the appearance of being a small thing (shohin), and acceptable as a shohin.
All except Formal upright and Literati, which should always be conifers ...
Literati/abstract (many trees, especially junipers and pines);
Multiple trunks or multiple tree planting (especially ficus, ginkgo, elm, liquidamber, heavenly bamboo, maple, olive);
Root-over-rock planting (especially, trident maple, some pines, ficus).
A tree with a high waist is called koshidaka. It also refers to the distance between the base of the tree and the first branch. This is frequently seen in trunks of literati style. In some instances, koshidaka can be attractive, but it tends to give a feeling of instability.
translated by Kyodo News ...
Pruning and wiring: The bald cypress lends itself to formal upright, informal upright, slanting, literati, twin-trunk and group styles. The most natural style is 'Flat Top' design.
The field maple bonsai is naturally inclined in the informal broom style, but it can also be trained in most other styles. The exception is the literati style.
In nature, succulents follow such bonsai styles as broom, informal upright, slanted, prostrate, semicascade, windswept, literati, and grotesque. Bonsai artists are also creating new interpretations of these traditional stylistic models based on the growth habits of succulent species.
broom style - A training form for bonsai which resembles an inverted broom with a single trunk dividing into many symmetric branchlets which subdivide into twigs and so forth. See Hokidachi
bunjin - Japanese term for an educated person or literati, a tree grown in this style, ...
See also: What is the meaning of Bonsai, Tree, Trunk, Style, Plant?