Bonsai to prevent wars and prevent senility? A big order for small trees. One of the first articles I wrote in this blog was the health benefits of bonsai “5 Reasons Bonsai will Benefit Your Health” . I mentioned both the physical and mental health benefits of bonsai. I was delighted to read a great article written in the Summer 1999 for the National Bonsai Foundation Newsletter called “The Heart of Bonsai” which somewhat ties to my article about health benefits of bonsai. The article touch on philosophies of Mr. Saburo Kato chairman of the board of the Nippon Bonsai Association at the time. Mr. Kato, however, takes bonsai further and talks about 2 great benefits of bonsai:
- For the world: “I believe that if bonsai becomes more popular and everybody in the world loves bonsai, wars will disappear on earth.”
- For the individual: “Bonsai will reward our love in two ways: one is a peaceful mind, and the other is a long life.”
Mr Kato goes further and explains why people can live a long life if they enjoy bonsai:
“There are two reasons: first, to grow bonsai means to take responsibility for another’s life; second, to grow bonsai means to set up an objective. Responsibility will make us work harder.I n Japan, it is said that those who enjoy bonsai will not become senile. To fulfill the daily responsibility to our bonsai, we have to use both mind and body. To set up an objective not just for tomorrow or next week is important. The objective is set up for a year later, ten years later,something far away. The objective is set up apart from everyday life. We cannot avoid growing older. However, if we feel responsible for bonsai and set up an objective for bonsai, we tend to forget growing older and we end up living longer.”
This article further validates why I do bonsai and why I’m willing to share the knowledge with anyone.
It is also interesting to note.
Mr. Saburo Kato died at the age of 93 years old.
Jonh Naka -Japanese-American Bonsai Master died at the age of 90 years old.
Harry Hirao -Japanese-American Bonsai Master died at 98 years old.