[Ads-l] Antedating of "Bonsai"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Sep 6 02:49:26 UTC 2015

Following Fred's lead: Below is an instance of "bonsai" in an American
periodical in December 1921. The terms: bonsai, kengai, nazaschi,
zikki, were all italicized. I guess the publication shows the terms
crossing over into English.

Date: December 1921
Periodical: Popular Science
Article: The Smallest Ornamental Tree in the World
Quote Page 41


[Begin excerpt]
Japan offers many varieties of dwarfs, but the popular kinds of these
tiny trees are: bonsai, perfect miniatures; kengai, with long
branches; nazaschi, with "weeping" branches; zikki, with geometrically
arranged twigs. . .
[End excerpt]


On Sat, Sep 5, 2015 at 10:17 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Antedating of "Bonsai"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> bonsai (OED 1950)
> 1928 _Japan Times & Mail_ 11 Dec. 4/6 (Japan Times Archive)  Visitors to th=
> e Bonsai exhibition now being held at the Hibiya Park will notice that ther=
> e are two different kinds of Bonsai.  Bonsai is a miniature tree, and its p=
> rinciple value lies in representing the form and appearance of a gigantic p=
> lant in a miniature form. ... The first type is to show the shape and beaut=
> y of an old or large tree with a miniature plant, and the second is to pres=
> ent a beautiful and artistic composition as seen in a painting.
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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