The logo Bonsai Tree in The Karate Kid

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Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) teaches Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) the art of bonsai in “The Karate Kid”.

Bonsai has become an iconic symbol of the “Karate Kid” franchise, from its first appearance in 1984 until today, as it continues to play an important role in Netflix’s “Cobra Kai” spinoff series. When they first appeared in “The Karate Kid” as an object of fascination for sensei Mr. Miyagi and, soon, his student Daniel LaRusso, fans may not have predicted the importance of the plant in the coming story.

The bonsai tree perhaps made its most prominent appearance as a logo on Daniel’s gi during the tournament at the end of the original film. However, what most fans don’t know is that it wasn’t the costume designer who designed the gi this way. Here is everything you need to know about the important bonsai from “The Karate Kid’s”.


Bonsai is not really a tree

Bonsai logo

YoutubeThe logo of the bonsai of Miyagi Do Karate, in “Cobra Kai”.

As explained by Grunge, bonsai is not actually a tree, but rather an art form traditionally practiced in Japan, intended to create entire natural landscapes in small pots, almost like a miniature version of real landscapes. Although the most common bonsai are maple, elm, juniper, and ficus, bonsai can actually be formed from virtually any tree or shrub, according to Mythical Bonsai.

In “The Karate Kid”, bonsai begins to play an important role in the story when Daniel arrives at Mr. Miyagi delicately pruning a tree, showing him the love and care he deserves. After Daniel discovered the art of bonsai, he immersed himself in it and learned to take care of his own bonsai. This has led fans to speculate on the symbolism of bonsai in the franchise, with some suggesting that it reflects the inner peace within all of us and the importance of channeling it for practicing karate.

In the “Cobra Kai” television series, adult Daniel’s appreciation for bonsai is exemplified by his role in the car dealership he owns, where customers receive a free bonsai for every car purchased. Later in the series, Daniel teaches protege Robby Keene the art of bonsai pruning, much like Mr. Miyagi taught him in the original films.


It is an actor who designed the Bonsai logo

Robby Keene and Daniel LaRusso in

YoutubeDaniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) teaches Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan) the art of bonsai in season 1 of “Cobra Kai”.

Perhaps the most notable inclusion in the bonsai as a symbol franchise, however, is the appearance of the bonsai on Daniel’s gi, starting in “The Karate Kid,” opposite the cobra that appears on the gis. by Cobra Kai.

What many fans may not know, however, is that it was actor Pat Morita – who played Mr. Miyagi – who designed the bonsai logo, according to IMDB. Although the California-born actor had little karate training prior to filming “The Karate Kid,” both of his parents were immigrants from Japan, and he grew up with a rich understanding of Japanese culture, according to Biography.com .

Alongside the snake of John Kreese’s Cobra Kai and the eagle of the new Eagle Fang, introduced in episode 7 of season 3 of the series, the bonsai remained the logo of Daniel LaRusso’s Miyagi Do karate studio in “Cobra Kai. “It is also, notably, the only logo that is neither an animal nor a direct link with the name of the dojo, perhaps as a commentary on Miyagi’s well-known belief in the importance of karate as a defense, not as a weapon. The significance of the dojo logos – or the species they are derived from – in “Cobra Kai” Season 4 remains to be seen. Season 4 will be released on Netflix on December 31, 2021.


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