A bonkei is a depiction of a landscape portrayed using mainly dry materials like rock, papier-mâché or cement mixtures, and sand in a shallow tray. Although the bonkei materials materials are usually dry, flowing water and seasides are often depicted, with varying colors of gravel or sand making up the land and the water elements. A bonkei may also contain miniature figures of people, animals, buildings, bridges, and other common outdoor items. The goal of the form is to provide an aesthetically pleasing miniature landscape for display and contemplation.
Bonkei is similar in some ways to the Japanese saikei (plant landscape), Chinese penjing, or Vietnamese hon non bo art forms. Robert Behme says that bonkei "is essentially a dry landscape, and living plants are rarely used; a saikei depends exclusively on living plants for effect."  As a result of this key difference, many bonkei specimens can last a long time with no maintenance, where a saikei requires frequent tending and a favorable environment for growth of the trees it contains.
|30px||This decorative art–related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|
|30px||This article related to art or architecture in Japan is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|