Fuku-Bonsai is very pleased and proud to introduce another major complete bonsai workshop package to greatly raise the standards for learning (and teaching) the most successful form of bonsai that is very suitable for anyone, anywhere who can grow houseplants!  It has the potential to dramatically produce exceptional bonsai.  While more challenging, it is believed to be within the reach of those who are successful with our original Introductory Workshop Package.

                     Fuku-Bonsai has pioneered True Indoor Bonsai™ since 1962 and as Hawaii’s first certified nursery, has been shipping nationally since 1974.  True Indoor Bonsai is successful primarily because it utilizes Dwarf Schefflera, the most durable of all houseplants.  It is the ideal houseplant to train as bonsai due to its low light tolerance and ideal traits. Fuku-Bonsai has been working with this plant since 1973 and we have the oldest Dwarf Schefflera bonsai, the greatest range of styling in our experimental collection, and shipped well over 100,000 Hawaiian Lava Plantings, Premium Potted Bonsai, and Workshop Packages.  We believe Dwarf Schefflera will be the most popular bonsai in the United States. 

                     Initially we grew primarily Hawaiian Lava Plantings which are (and continue to be) the most successful gift bonsai for anyone, anywhere who can grow houseplants.  They are slow-growing and very easy-care.  As interest in bonsai developed, there has been greater demand for Premium Potted Bonsai as they grow faster and were more trainable because of larger root systems and because they can be repotted.




      2000      FUKU-BONSAI “CONVERSION KITS” introduced to allow customers to “pot” our small or desk size lava plantings to enlarge the root systems to obtain stronger growth. (photo)

      2001      FUKU-BONSAI PREMIUM KEIKI BONSAI WORKSHOP PACKAGE introduced featuring a small lava planting with roots already established outside the rock into a low nursery container, a Fuku-Bonsai 8" diameter x 2" round plastic bonsai pot, coarse bottom media, body media, fine top dressing, tie-down wire, and the Keiki Bonsai Handbook. This very successfully introduced many to potted bonsai. The disadvantage was the high costs of the older plant material,  larger pot, and larger quantity of potting materials required. (photo)

    2007      FUKU-BONSAI INTRODUCTORY WORKSHOP PACKAGE introduced featuring a 2-4-year pre-trained prepared bonsai stock in a 2” nursery pot and nine other carefully selected components.  This greatly reduced the cost to the same as Fuku-Bonsai small size lava planting.  With special quantity discounts (25% off and free shipping when 8 units sent to same address,  or 50% off and free shipping when 16 or more units are sent to the same address),  this kit was ideal for isolated individuals to learn bonsai without a teacher or for them to teach others and form clubs where none previously existed.  Bonsai clubs began to use them for teaching beginner bonsai classes and attracted and retained more new members.


     2013        FUKU-BONSAI 1:10 PREMIUM WORKSHOP PACKAGE (“Sumo” and “Roots” versions) introduced featuring   older pre-trained prepared bonsai stock in a 2” nursery pot and other carefully selected components, including a detailed cultural and instructional sheet.

                          (To be released March of 2013 limited to Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation members only.)


Dwarf Schefflera 7" Premium 1:10 SUMO Workshop  Package sketch



                     The Fuku-Bonsai 1:10 Project began in 2010 and introduced on our website with a new portal at:  The project was to determine whether or not it was possible to produce higher standard smaller, younger plants that could be successful to a larger but less experienced group of hobbyists.  We already know that it is very possible to create larger older Custom Collection in 17”x12”x2” deep oval pots that have trunks that equal or exceed the depth of the pot.  All custom collection have trunks or root bases larger than the 2” deep pots.  Even our 8LS8 Living Sculpture in 8” diameter x 2” deep pots usually have trees with trunks or root bases larger than 2”. (photo)

                     Most initial experiments trained older plants in shallow 9” saucers less than 1” deep.  They had impressive appearances and none died.  In April 2011, the staff was introduced to the concept and trees were trained into shallower 7” diameter saucers. An article titled INTRODUCING HAWAIIAN DRAGONS & FUKU-BONSAI'S "1:10 PROJECT" was first published in the American Bonsai Society Journal; Volume 45; Number 3 (Fall 2011) and later reprinted on the Fuku-Bonsai website at with a later update report.  It introduced a wire armature that made it possible to create complex bends in exposed root bonsai designs. 

                 About this same time we were visited by Ron Davis of Bozeman, Montana and he accepted my offer to do a series of 1:10 Projects with plants that were older and more developed than our standard Introductory Workshop Package to be trained into the shallow 7” saucers and his reports begin at


                   Other visitors either received demonstrations or tried it.  Ken Kleck of Greendale, Wisconsin, did a standard Introductory Bonsai Workshop and three 1:10 Project workshops that downpotted older 4LS8 Small Potted Bonsai (Sumo, Roots, and Dragons) into the shallow 7” saucers.  Five months later his reports with an update was published in the second February 2013 issue of the Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai and is posted at

                   In February 2013 Ryan Chang of Waipahu, Oahu, Hawaii, flew over for a full day of workshops.  Ryan is an especially enthusiastic beginner who began just a few months ago but has already done (and redone several workshops before spending a day with me).  He has already earned a portal page at and his Big Island report is posted at in the March issue of the Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai.

                   Like Ron Davis, Ryan Chang received a special offer that includes a larger quantity of plants older than those used in the Introductory Workshop Package to be grown in a large range of stylings and different containers.  He is the first to be tutored in professional “growing-on” techniques that will include reporting by photos and text as well as phone calls to clarify when necessary.  While Ryan may not ever become a bonsai professional, the program being planned will create a large range of plants that can be trained into many ways to yield highest-potential bonsai!  We are calling this the Fuku-Bonsai Fast-Track Development Program which begins as a member of our True Indoor Bonsai Study Group.



                     Everyone learns in a different way and our informal, very flexible study group develops a personal relationship with those who are enthusiastic about learning bonsai, but also have the uncommon discipline and ability to write, photograph, and correspond quickly.  We give frequent workshops at the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center and invite many to write follow-up reports and updates.  But, in spite of the enthusiasm and promises made at Fuku-Bonsai, we don’t hear from most again or at earliest several months later. 

                     So, I am very appreciative of very strong correspondents including Jerry Meislik,  Ron Davis, Ken Kleck, Ryan Chang and a number of others as they help me improve our products and made possible a conditional limited introduction of the 1:10 Premium Workshop Package which will be a part of the 3-part kit. The 1:10 Premium Workshop Package is now being finalized, instructional sheets being written, and will be introduced in March of 2013.  It will be offered only to members of the Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation who complete full applications and who pledge to follow a specific sequence that begins with a narrative comment report comparing the standard Introductory Workshop Package and the 1:10 Premium Workshop Package.  This will require reading all materials, sending questions, and not starting until a reply is received from Fuku-Bonsai.

                     Once any questions are answered, start with the standard Introductory Workshop Package (Sumo) and submit a photo report of 7 to 12 photos with clear captions and an overall report.  Photos must be clear and suitable for publication and be taken against a plain background with camera on a tripod or sturdily supported. 

                     Upon comments received and any corrections redone, the study group member will start on the second 1:10 Premium Workshop Package (Sumo) and follow the same submittal of photo report of 7 to 12 photos with clear captions and a more detailed report comparing the two packages. This should include any questions, comments, or suggestions for improvements.  

                     Upon comments received and any corrections redone, the study group member will start on the third 1:10 Premium Workshop Package (Roots) and follow the same reportage criteria.  The 3-package study must be completed in three months.

                     The Fuku-Bonsai Study Group is not for everyone.  Reports cannot be made verbally by phone and these criteria will eliminate many who do not have the discipline or are not willing and able to write and communicate by email.  We will assist these individuals in the future but request only serious committed study group participants to assist in finalizing the best possible 1:10 Premium Workshop Package.  Current cost estimates predict it will be priced in the $35-$40 range plus $12 shipping.         

                        A special Fuku-Bonsai Study Group fee is $75 which includes Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation membership, one standard Introductory Workshop Package, one 1:10 Premium Workshop Package (Sumo), one 1:10 Premium Workshop Package (Roots), shipping via FedEx and personalized assistance. This special Study Group fee is subject to change at any time and may be modified once the 1:10 Premium Workshop Package and 1:10 Conversion Kits are formally a part of our product lines. 


STUDY GROUP APPLICATION (To be submitted by email to

           1.       In an email, provide the following information:   Name, mailing address, phone number, email address, and a description of your past bonsai experience.  Include a photo of you with your overall bonsai collection, and your best bonsai with a short description of the history of that bonsai.  Include any experience in growing Dwarf Schefflera as houseplant bonsai.

           2.       A statement of commitment to follow the procedures and standards of the Fuku-Bonsai Study Group and to allow publication of any or all of correspondence, photographs, and submittals in the Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai and/or improve Fuku-Bonsai or Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation printed or published materials. 

           3.       A candid description of your goals in joining the Study Group that could include becoming a more skilled bonsai hobbyist,  becoming a teacher using Fuku-Bonsai workshop packages,  to develop a backyard nursery, or becoming a Fuku-Bonsai Authorized Retailer.  Fuku-Bonsai is building a national network of customers, instructors, and widely scattered area-exclusive authorized retailers to supply now and in future generations.  We intend to be the best long-term source of highest quality True Indoor Bonsai.  We believe it is destined to be the most popular bonsai in the United States in the future.  We will not be able to supply all markets and reserve the right to supply our direct customers and oldest Fuku-Bonsai Authorized Retailers.    

           4.       Any other questions, comments, or recommendations.


                     As this is being written, several individuals have indicated interest in joining the study group and a few have already forwarded their $75 membership fee.  Our goal is to have a qualified True Indoor Bonsai instructor in every city or region in the United States and to increase production to be able to supply a national network of associates.  We are also well along in our recovery and production is increasing.  We are also accepting additional Fuku-Bonsai Authorized Retailers.  Please contact me for more information if you are interested.

           ~~~David W. Fukumoto, president and founder, Fuku-Bonsai Inc.;   editor, Journal of Tropical and True Indoor Bonsai.  Email:    


*** Return to the Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai (Issue #3; March 2013)

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                © Fuku-Bonsai and Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation, 2013