Chokkan: Formal Upright Style

Formal upright is the most fundamental style in bonsai.

  • Believed to be the first style
  • Difficult to execute correctly
  • Not very common style today
  • Trunk is straight with gradual taper, front 1/3 to 1/2 exposed
  • 1st branch is at 1/4, 1/3, or 1/2 the height of the tree and facing slightly forward
  • 2nd branch is on the other side of the tree slightly higher and facing slightly forward
  • 3rd branch to the back and same distance from the 1st branch as 1/2 the distance from the first
    branch and the pot.
  • Continue up the tree in the same rotational style getting closer and closer together with the branches.
  • Nebari should be all the way around the tree.


Fibonacci sequence can be used to determine the height of the tree vs 1st branch location:
1+1=2, 2+1, 3+2=5, 4+3=7, 5+4=9, 6+5=11

Golden ratio is found throughout nature (a:b :: b:a+b)

1.618 (is the rounded off numeric   representitive) X 1st branch = tree height

0.618  X height  is first branch.



Powerpoint file from Kenn: Chokkan Powerpoint