Century Old Japanese Bonsai Postcards

Simply amazing old photos of bonsai and bonsai nurseries. Many people seem to think of bonsai as a static and ageless art – I think these photos demonstrate that it is just as subject to the vagaries of fashion as any other media.

Bonsai Penjing & More

Many bonsai people have other hobbies.  Sometimes they combine those hobbies together such as collecting bonsai-related pins, phone cards etc.  I collected stamps since I was a kid, and am interested in bonsai-related stamps and postal items. I also collect old bonsai and penjing postcards, preferably postally used.

Below are my Japanese postcards with bonsai in the pictures; they are about 100 years old and were hand-tinted. Strictly speaking, most of these postcards show Japanese woman activities with bonsai in the background. I have not seen postcard of that period with just bonsai as the main theme.  Nevertheless, they allow us to see how Japanese bonsai looked like a hundred years ago.

EPSON MFP image 1905 postcard with a potted pine. The writing reads: “Characteristic room furniture, no ornaments except few flowers. Low writing table & box containing ink disk and brushes. Lady in the act of writing a letter.”

Besides the date on the postcard, one can…

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