DENTSU INC., Tokyo / TAKAMATSU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY / 2020
Takamatsu is Japan’s largest bonsai producing region, but the local people don't know the fact and are uninterested in the tradition. It because bonsai cultivation requires hard work, time, and great skill. In order to protect and further develop the traditional cultural practice of bonsai, we believe it cannot limited only to enthusiasts – we must communicate the true joy of bonsai throughout Takamatsu, a major bonsai producing region.
We developed a series of simple two-dimensional graphic images that depict the different parts of bonsai trees. By combining the images, anyone (even children) can learn to enjoy the variable beauty of bonsai.
We succeeded in having 100 different Takamatsu Bonsai posters displayed free of charge at 100 stores in Takamatsu’s most popular shopping district. For 4 months, we took over the main street of the district, which sees around 22,000 visitors a day during the week and 35,000 a day on holidays. A total of 304 elementary school students have participated in our school-based hands-on classes where they make Takamatsu Bonsai. During the Setouchi Triennale art festival, which brings in as many as 1.17 million visitors to the area, the childrens’ artworks were displayed in the ferries that serve as the primary means of transportation for the festival, and they were seen by many locals and tourists.
This project was launched to offer new ways to enjoy bonsai for locals previously uninterested in the tradition. With Takamatsu Bonsai, we have taken the average person’s image of the art – difficult to start and difficult to keep up – and transformed that stereotype into something new, thereby bringing in a new group of primarily younger fans.