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Rugao bonsai making techniques

en.nantong.gov.cn Updated: 2023-07-07


A traditional S-shaped Rugao bonsai with two and half curves. [Photo provided to en.nantong.gov.cn]

Bonsai, a shining pearl in China's landscape art, has a recorded history of more than 1,300 years.

With mature craft, strict rules, standard procedures, and unique modeling, Rugao-style bonsai is among the seven bonsai schools in China and is often seen in national reception venues such as the Zhongnanhai leadership compound and the Great Hall of the People.

Mainly made from the yacca tree, Rugao-style bonsai feature short branches and closely woven leaf buds that are not easily deformed.

Rugao bonsai is usually S-shaped with three branches on each of the left, right, and back sides. A superb Rugao bonsai is usually composed of numerous small S-shaped branches that are well-arranged.

It takes at least three to five years to make a traditional S-shaped Rugao bonsai with two and half curves.

In 1986, Rugao bonsai received its first international gold award at the 18th edition of the international flower expo in Italy and since then more than 600 Rugao bonsai have received awards at international and national competitions.

In 2014, Rugao bonsai making techniques were added to the list of national intangible cultural heritage items.