The Most Expensive Bonsai in the World?

 

Most expensive bonsai in the world in Takamatsu, Japan - November 2011

 

“In the world” I don’t know, but this Bonsai became the most talked about Bonsai in Takamatsu during the Asia-Pacific Bonsai and Suiseki Convention & Exhibition last November.

You see the price. It sold for ¥100,000,000! Yes, you read me correctly. One hundred million Yens!

(that’s about €1,000,000 $1,300,000 or £840,000 as I type these lines)

Crazy, isn’t it?

 

 

 

David Billa

David was born and raised in France. After a few years in the US and then back to his home country, life led him to the shores of the Seto Inland Sea in Japan. After falling in love with the area, he decided to show its beauty and all it has to offer with this blog.

15 Responses

  1. Rurousha says:

    This tree intrigued me so much I did a bit of Googling. Even Forbes (Forbes!) has published an article about the big business of little trees:

    http://www.forbes.com/global/2006/0213/074A.html

    I’m ambivalent about bonsai. They’re beautiful, but I can’t help thinking it’s like putting a tree in a cage.

    • David says:

      They’re as much in a cage than a flower in a pot. 😉
      However, just like with animals in a cage (well, it depends on which animal in which cage of course), they’re better treated and live a better life than in the wild. Don’t forget that it’s a misconception to think that animals are happier in the wild. If given proper care in captivity they’re much happier. Life in the wild means a life of constant stress (of having to finding food and avoiding being eaten mostly) and a short life.
      Even the freedom aspect is “over-rated” While it’s true that most animals in captivity have less freedom of movement than in the wild, in the wild, most animals live in a small areas (that they know well), they don’t travel the world. And animals who travel a lot do it for climatic and/or finding food reasons. Needs that disappear when they’re properly taken care of in captivity.
      But we’re getting way off topic here, so back to Bonsai.

      For Bonsai and other plants, the issue is very different. Plants don’t move. And once again most Bonsai lead a much better life than their wild giant counterparts. 🙂

      • Rurousha says:

        I hate zoos. I’m too used to Africa’s savanna, and the sight of a leopard pacing in a tiny cage, up and down, up and down … not good. Their home range is up to 80 km2.

        As far as the bonsai vs flower in a pot is concerned, OK, you’ve got a point! I wouldn’t mind a little baobab bonsai! 🙂

        • David says:

          Of course, not any animal belong to any enclosed space, but zoos get a lot of bad press for what they used to be (basically amusement parks with animals in them), however nowadays they’re not that anymore.
          Yet, I have to admit that I have been less than impressed by Japanese zoos, but most if not all European (or North American?) zoos today are run by people who know what they’re doing and who respect the animals and treat them the best way possible.

          I’d like to have a baobab bonsai too, now that you mention it (I think I have seen some before…)

          • Larry Mayer says:

            It’s all a matter of perspective. Considering the perspective of the animal, my guess is that they would want to be wild and free, as nature (apparently) intended.

  2. Wow! That is very expensive for a Bonsai. I like them a lot, but nor that much!

  3. cocomino says:

    Completely crazy but there are people who have a lot of money which they can’t spend during their life.

    • David says:

      On the one hand, I find this crazy.
      On the other hand, knowing that the tree is 300 years old and all the work and care it has received over all of those years, I think it’s worth it more than many other things that can cost that price (cars, contemporary art and such)

  4. Michael Smith says:

    Am amazing tree and worth every cent no doubt. Not that i would buy it if i had that type of money. For me the joy of bonsai comes in creating my own, and even if they will never be as amazing as some of the masterpieces, i have fun growing them anyway.
    I often have people say things about my trees along the lines of it being cruel to keep the in small pots. Don’t people realise that for every tree that grows to maturity there are literally billions of seeds that never make it. Keeping a tree in a pot is only limiting the amount of space available to the roots to grow, and in that respect is no different to a seedling that finds itself growing in a rock depression or some place in nature where it only has a small amount of soil.
    Bonsai are some of the lucky ones.

    • David says:

      Yes, I never really understood the concept of being cruel to a plant. Is it possible to be cruel to a thing that doesn’t have a brain?
      What about mowing the lawn, isn’t it cruel?
      What about eating? Even vegans are cruel to plants then…

      As far as growing your own Bonsai is concerned. Yes I tried. I will try again soon. Maybe it won’t die this time (note for self, do not leave your Bonsai in the sun in July when it’s 35°C).

      • Larry Mayer says:

        It is not “cruel” to confine a plant…or to eat an animal. It is what nature intended. I think that animals as “pets”, are fine, as long as they are loved and cared for properly- to the best of one’s ability.

  5. Derryn says:

    Amazing.
    Do Bonzai have a long life expectancy, imagine having past on by generations.

    • David says:

      Bonsai live in theory as long as their normal size counterpart (with proper care of course).
      This one is about 300 years old (I just realized that I forgot to mention it in the post) and I have heard of 600 years old Bonsai. Now I can’t tell you the oldest one recorded.

  6. lisa corrigan says:

    My 85 years old aunt gave me bonsai trees that she grew from seed. How will I know what there worth?

    • David says:

      Honestly, I have no idea. If you’ve read a little, you’ll know that I’m far from being a Bonsai specialist.
      I’d say that they’re worth the price someone is willing to pay for them. Beyond that I have no idea.

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