You are probably familiar with the cute Japanese art form called “bonsai,” but are you familiar with the so-called art project “Air Bonsai?” This project allows people to create their own ‘floating star’ by growing and nurturing it.
It was made by a small company called “Hoshinchu” in Kyushu, Japan. It doesn’t only treasure the art of growing trees in containers but also gives people the chance to admire the beauty of the tiny stars. Read on to find out about this innovative take on a very traditional craft unique to this part of the world!
The origin of bonsai is deeply rooted in Chinese history. It was a common tradition for Chinese people to grow miniature trees and to make potted scenery. A special technique was used to grow them which made them ideal luxurious gifts among the elite.
It was only during the Kamakura Period that this art form was introduced to Japan. Japanese people then started cultivating trees in small containers. It was also a time when the Japanese were fascinated with Chinese culture. Everyone in the country, from all walks of life, began to grow some forms of trees in azalea pots.
Later on, different techniques and styles were used in growing them until they finally became a focus of design and creativity. The number of bonsai hobbyists increased and is clearly seen in Japanese homes today!
Air Bonsai was created by the Hoshinchu team, which is located in the country’s southern island of Kyushu. It consists of a floating ball (upper half) and an energy base (lower half). The upper half is made of balls of moss that are suspended from a ceramic dish. Both halves have magnets which allow the bonsai to float.
This look represents the plant as little stars, which can easily be seen at night in Kyushu’s region. It is also said that many Japanese wish on the little stars. Growing one can allow you to make a wish for your dreams and hopes to come true!
The little star is powered by a built-in magnet. It can float 2 cm above the energy base. You can choose whichever plant is your favorite but you will need to water it from time to time. The energy base is made of traditional Japanese “Imari” ware and follows a rotating mechanism. This is breakable so you have to be careful in handling it. It runs with an AC adapter, and its top part has a mirror surface.
Once turned on, a red light will appear at the bottom. The types of plant range from elegant flowering plants to delightful mosses. It was originally launched in 2016 but you can continue purchasing the DIY kit online (see website below).
Please note that the Air Bonsai Basic Set consists of a “little star”, an “energy base”, a cushion, an AC adapter, and a “Kiri” box made of Paulownia wood. You can purchase an optional item called “little star” Lava. This is a lava stone from the Sakurajima Volcano which can be used as an alternative to the floating star.
If you’d like to support the traditional culture of bonsai in Japan, then purchasing a set will make a big difference to the industry and is also a re-connection to the environment It is not only visually attractive as it is rare to find a floating plant around the world, but is also a meaningful way of respecting Mother Nature!