Creating Bunjin / Literati Style Bonsai Trees

Typically lower branches are highly valued when making a bonsai tree. However, there is a style that is available that works perfectly with trees that aren’t lucky enough to have strong lower branches or thick trunk calipers.

The Bunjin or Literati style makes use of higher branches and thinner trunk calipers. To begin creating a Bunjin style tree, study the tree to find where the branch structure is the best utilized. Ensure that the front of the tree bows toward you while still exposing the movement of the trunk. Tilt the tree on blocks for a better view of the movement or in order to have the tree bow toward you.

Arranging the branches on a Bunjin style tree is also different from traditional forms of Bonsai. Bunjin style trees make use of lengthy long branches that drape down elegantly around the trunk. Arrange the branches to accentuate the flow of the branches. The overall design should be soft and gentle.

When choosing a Bonsai tree pot for your Bunjin or Literati style tree, choose a pot that is round as Bunjin style trees are always placed in round pots to further emphasize the soft gentle flowing nature of the tree.

The Bunjin style can be applied to most types of Bonsai tree species. So next time you have a tree that doesn’t have the desired lower branches, take a closer look to see if you might be able to make it Bunjin Style tree.