This Bonsai Master’s Greatest Work of Art is a Loving Tribute to his Grandkids


goshin by john naka bonsai forest for grandchildren (5)

Goshin (Japanese: “protector of the spirit”) is a bonsai created by Bonsai Master John Yoshio Naka. It is a forest planting of eleven Foemina junipers (Juniperus chinensis), the earliest of which Naka began training into bonsai in 1948.

Naka donated it to the National Bonsai Foundation in 1984 for display at the United States National Arboretum and it has been there ever since. The individual trees represent Naka’s 11 grandchildren. [source]

Photograph above by Sage Ross

goshin by john naka bonsai forest for grandchildren (3)

Photograph by Sage Ross

Naka began working with the first two of the eleven trees that would ultimately make up Goshin in 1948. Goshin first took shape as a forest planting around 1964. Inspired by a forest of Cryptomeria japonica near a shrine in Japan, Naka first combined the four trees he had already developed into a single, 4-foot-tall (1.2 m) composition. He soon added three more, to create…

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