Mame bonsai is fun

The smallest bonsai is categorized as Shohin bonsai and a subcategory is Mame (bean) bonsai, only measuring up to 10 cm / 4 Inches.

Shohin bonsai measures a maximum of 20cm/10 inches from the rim of the pot to the top of the tree (give and take).

Mame bonsai

This subbranch of Shohin bonsai is really tiny and demands extra caretaking regarding watering and detailed pruning. Some years ago there was a special Mame bonsai association in Japan but it disappeared again. Mame bonsai are now included in the Shohin bonsai exhibits but seem to be increasing in popularity now again.

The smallest bonsai needs to be watched differently than the larger bonsai, and also a bit different from the Shohin big brother. The simplicity of the small material at hand requires a more playful attitude and imagination when looking at the simple reflections of nature.

The smaller the more simplified and implying expression of a tree is possible. Mame is fun. It’s playful and elegant. The tinyness is almost abstract and the beauty lies within keeping them elegant and expressive at the same time.

The Mame bonsai shown here measures 10 cm / 4 Inches, and it is a Chinese cork bark elm grown in a pot for more than 19 years now. The pot is German and a gift received from a student. The name of the potter I don’t know.

The tiny accent pot is an amazing handcraft by Japanese potter Mayu Oshima.

Please leave a comment