(August 2013)

             We enjoy the workshops given at the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center and over the many years, that's where we get ideas that go into our website and now into the Journal of Tropical and True Indoor Bonsai. We opened the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center in Kurtistown in 1996 and the interest in learning bonsai started our commitment to teach.  The website went up in 1999 and it is now the largest highest credibility bonsai website on the internet and would print out to over 2,000 pages!  We are the only source of specific educational materials,  supplier of the specific plants and supplies described, and in partnership with the Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation, provides personalized email assistance to members of the study groups!

            We began developing workshop packages in 2000 and the initial Keiki Bonsai Workshop Package was a great start but used older materials and was too costly.  Customer feedback resulted in improvements and the creation of the Introductory Workshop Package (IWP) in 2006 --- the  "Bonsai Educational Holy Grail" and the critical component to effectively teach True Indoor Bonsai economically. Since then the package has steadily improved and we are now recommending a MPBF Beginner Study Group Package to include three IWP kits plus a few other items and personalized email assistance.

           New study group members are joining via email and at our center.  On a single day we had two "firsts" in study group membership at the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center in Kurtistown!


(Falls Church, Virginia)

        Ben's parents Sven and Claudia Wienzicki and 4- year old sister Greta spend a morning with us to observe Ben's first basic Sumo IWP workshop with Edison Yadao as the instructor.  They learned about us from the guide book:  Big Island Revealed and Ben was looking forward to doing the workshop. 

        Edison is our workshop manager and gives the best beginner workshops that can be completed in 30 minutes if our visitors are on a tight time schedule

          This was his first bonsai experience.  Edison did a demonstation and explained the steps and Ben did very well.  His parents tell us that Ben does well in drawing and they will oversee his submittals.  We discussed the second "Roots" workshop and the third most difficult "Roots-Over-Rock" in which a drill with masonry bit will be used to sculpture the lava rock supplied to new Beginner Study Group members. 

          Sven and Claudia both enjoyed the bonsai experience,  believed it was thorough and understandible, and are looking forward to staying in touch and growing the trees.  Sven got a nice 8LS8-Roots to be shipped home with Ben's three trees, kits, and other items supplied to study group members.

         In Sam's workshop feedback questionnaire, he wrote:  "I had a lot of fun doing it and I liked it a lot!"  


(Palos Verdes Peninsula, California)

            Hachim (left) and Zeina (right) clearly have a special relationship as twins and they both selected learning bonsai as their preferred Hawaii Island activity. They and their parents Mahmound and Nawal Awad and their older brother and younger sister stopped by in the morning after having been introduced to Fuku-Bonsai at a promotional exhibit at Ken's Pancake House in Hilo.  They were in the midst of a busy day as the family had already scheduled horseback riding.  They decided to return rather than be rushed.  So they phoned when they were on their way back.  

            Edison had a scheduled delivery so I got to give the workshop. With the family observing they picked out their trees and instead of starting with the easiest "Sumo" workshop,  they wanted to tackle the more difficult "Roots" workshop while here and to do the easier Sumo by email, and later the most difficult Root over Rock; also by email.

           To give them a better understanding of the basic concepts,  my demonstration was of a Sumo and I showed them how to use the options regarding the Sumo accent rock and the concept of creating an exciting foundation that emphasized the trunk root buttressing area as the most important aspect that will dominate the future training and developing a Sumo bonsai.  As luck would have it,  I had a really nice demonstration plant, a great accent rock, that combined to create a very attractive scene. 

           For their Roots workshop, the emphasis was on the concept of "pre-training" with a lot of the actual training to be done in a year or so. So the idea was to teach some technique, it was mainly the importance of good cultural principles to get the strongest possible growth.  While there could be some movement toward future styling,  the objective of this workshop is to preserve and create as many options as possible so there would be a superior plant to develop in the future.  So the class included basic handling of apical growth and how to develop the three basic branches that  would be needed to form the future bonsai crown. 

          On the feedback questionnaire,  parents Mahmoud and Nawal Awad were very complimentary and called it they best event on the Big Island.  Hachim said:  "I am confident and have gotten good information to begin bonsai on my own when I go home and think my teacher did a really good job in all work.  Zeina said:  "I am confident that I will be able to continue at home,  Enough information was provided within the given amount of time.  Truly glad I found the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center.

         We continue our efforts, are delighted with the progress made to date, and am excited about plans for the future!    ~~~David     david.f@fukubonsai.com


The Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation Journal of Tropical and True Indoor Bonsai is published monthly by email and is a benefit of Foundation membership. Annual dues are just $12 per year. For more information about becoming a member, go to www.fukubonsai.com/MPBF.html

    Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation and Fuku-Bonsai, 2013