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Shitakusa, Kusamono, Kokedama, Nearai and Wabikusa

When we display bonsai, we usually include an accent plant, as it has become known over the years. This accent plant is called shitakusa, which is translated from the Japanese shita, below or under...
  • M C

    Neari method of planting: "Nearai is one of the methods to appreciate Bonsai. Remove plants with an earth ball from a container and place on a flat dish or a shallow tray leaving the roots visible. That is Nearai display. The soil will not fall away because the well-grown roots hold the soil firmly. Gradually old roots will go rotten and be mixed with the soil, then moss will grow to cover the roots and soil." | sala-sala: What is Nearai?

  • Helen Fenner

    Nearai bonsai, they've got no pot-- the inspiration for Kokedama!

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NEARAI can be single plants or mixed plantings that have been grown in pots and when the pot is full of roots it is removed from the pot and displayed on a flat showing the roots. The roots can be washed to expose them more if desired. Often Shitakusa, Kusamono or Kokedama will eventually develop into Nearai. For practical reasons, these should be displayed on stone or ceramic flats.

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Kokedama style of Wabikusa. Wabi denotes something aesthetic, imperfectly beautiful and natural. Kusa means grass, or sometimes, plant. It denotes something natural, Kokedama is a ball of moss covered soil with arranged plants. Unlike other bonsai styles, its history is not so old and it’s said the idea originated from Nearai, which was a popular bonsai style during the Edo era in Japan, and is a bonsai grown first in a pot and taken out of the pot and set on a stand to enjoy without a pot.

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