This book tells the awe-inspiring stories of bonsai and penjing trees in the collection of the National Arboretum in Washington D.C. It details their valuable role in international diplomacy and as instruments of American presidential influence. It also describes their inclusion in world's fair exhibitions, in Asian-inspired gardens around the country, and as a window onto the extensive cultivation of bonsai in North America today.
An extensive first-hand account by Dr. John L. Creech is included about the first extraordinary gift of 53 bonsai from Japan to the U.S. in 1976 which prompted the founding of the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum. Bonsai and Penjing, Ambassadors of Beauty and Peace describes how Chinese penjing and North American bonsai were later added to the Museum, making its collection the most comprehensive in the world. Stories of individual trees and forest plantings are featured, as are the roles played by the skilled and talented creators of these living art forms people such as John Naka, Saburo Kato, Yuji Yoshimura, Harry Hirao, and Dr. Yee-Sun Wu. Armchair travelers can experience what a visit to the Museum is like, including the discovery of its remarkable viewing stones. Bonsai and Penjing, Ambassadors of Beauty and Peace will delight anyone intrigued by these living works of art and curious about the stories they bring to life.