Introduction to Saikei

A saikei is a miniature landscape composed of rocks, trees and often a riverbed of rocks and sand. For saikei you can use smaller, younger and less perfect trees, material that would probably not develop into a first-rate bonsai. The landscape you create can represent a mountainous area, a coastal region, or even a desert scene with succulents. As with bonsai, with saikei you should strive to reproduce what is found in nature.

Who's Introduced Saikei

Saikei literally means living landscape. In this form of bonsai, the artist depicts not just a tree or a forest but a full 3 dimensional landscape. In Japan the school of saikei was founded by Toshio Kawamoto after World War II. He based this bonsai art form on the principles of group plantings and rock plantings of bonsai.

Seeing the need for a form of bonsai that would be easily accessible to the average person, he created saikei. Young seedlings can be used and grown into older trees while they create a beautiful scene for us to enjoy. Kawamoto wanted a bonsai form that could look lovely even when freshly planted unlike the many years true bonsai takes to develop. His 1967 book, Saikei: Living Landscapes in Miniature has been the bible of Saikei since its  introduction.

When Kawamoto introduced this style, he did not use any well-developed trees in his saikei. As time passed, other artists took this style to higher levels by training each of the trees in the saikei. Today Saikei can be designed with young seedlings or rooted cuttings or well developed bonsai. The choice is yours and is only limited by the materials you have available and your skill and imagination.

Containers used for saikei are often oval trays, brown and unglazed. The tray should be shallow, but large enough not just for the trees, rocks, and riverbed but also for open space. Miniature houses, animals, or figurines can be included, but they should be used with care.

bonsai saikei
Saikei featuring Seiju elm
image source:
wikipedia.org
Materials for Saikei
Material used for regular bonsai is appropriate for saikei, but is usually smaller and younger. Trees should be of the same species, of assorted heights and trunk sizes. Material with a bare side can be planted with similar material, allowing the bare areas to mesh. As in other multiple plantings, the trunks in a saikei should all be in harmony, that is, all straight or all leaning in the same direction, as though the wind has bent them.

Rocks used in saikei should be compatible with the plants used, ones that could appear together in a natural landscape. Rocks should not look as though you simply placed them on top of the soil. To look both natural and old, they should be emerging from the earth. If only a portion of the rock is available, it invites the imagination to guess its size. Large rocks should be placed in the empty tray before the soil or trees. Florists’ clay placed on the bottom of a rock and pressed against the bottom of the container should secure the rock.

Arrange and rearrange the rocks and trees until you create the landscape you envision. Wire the trunks of the trees if they need it. Branches too should be wired, pruned and pinched as necessary. If any grasses or accent plants are used, be certain they have the same care requirements as the trees.



The care of a saikei planting is a little different from that of a bonsai. Saikei trays hold more soil and will not dry out as quickly as most bonsai containers. Water according to the trees’ needs. If your trees need a little dryness between watering, be sure to check several different parts of the landscape to be certain there are not wet areas of soil.

If you are interested in learning more about saikei, there are many sources that you can find on the internet. Or if you're new on saikei, or you want to get an idea of ​​saikei, you can visit the gallery below of International Saikei Association. Visit this link: Saikei Gallery.

Comments

  1. Hey Thanks for sharing this blog its very helpful to implement in our work



    Regards
    Gardening company in india

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey,

    Thanks for sharing this blog its very helpful to implement in our work







    Regards.

    Vertical garden developer company

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey,

    Thanks for sharing this blog its very helpful to implement in our work







    Regards.

    Best Landscaping company in Delhi

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey,

    Thanks for sharing this blog its very helpful to implement in our work







    Regards.

    Hard and soft landscape contractors

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey Thanks for sharing this blog its very helpful to implement in our work






    Regards




    LANDSCAPE COMPANY IN MUMBAI MAHARASHTRA

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment