Japanese flower arrangement is called “ikebana” and it is said to have originated in the 6th century when monks arranged flowers to be offered to Buddha statues. Ikebana literally means “to give life to a flower”, so flowers should be arranged as if they were alive and well in nature. The current style of ikebana was perfected in the Muromachi period. Although there are now more than 2,000 schools, the basic idea of ikebana is very similar. The three stems and flowers that symbolize the heavens, earth, and people are combined to represent the universe. Another famous Japanese culture is bonsai. Bonsai is said to have been introduced from China in the Heian period, but in Japan, growing bonsai has developed as an art form. It literally means “potted tree”, but it actually means a potted or artificially dwarfed tree. Bonsai uses a variety of methods to control the growth of the tree and make it look the way you want it to. For example, wrapping wire around the trunk and branches to reshape them, or trimming them regularly. You may also cut off the roots to stifle growth and replant them in fresh soil. Japanese people, who live in small spaces, imagine themselves in front of a large tree in the vastness of nature when they look at a bonsai tree. One traditional Japanese culture that is larger in scale than bonsai is the garden. There are two traditional Japanese garden styles. One is a mountain garden called “Tsukiyama,” a miniature design with ponds and soil arranged in the image of a natural sea or mountain. The other is a Japanese garden without water called “karesansui”, which is seen in Zen temples and other places. I mainly use stones and sand to depict nature.