* Completion of nursery rebuilding from devastation due to defective fungicide sprayed in 1989 and 1990.
* Legal battle to collect multi- million dollar damages from DuPont continues in federal court in Honolulu.
* Began accepting Fuku-Bonsai Authorized Retailers and laid the foundation for the Fuku-Bonsai East Coast Order Processing Center and other major accounts.
* Identification of high-quality melamine to allow offering five outstanding complete gift items available throughout the year!
* New Custom Collection oval container complete with turntable and display base developed.
* After 28 years, Fuku-Bonsai accepts credit cards through PayPal and becomes verified!
* Successful introduction of the Premium Keiki Bonsai Workshop Package & Keiki Bonsai Handbook.
The staff mastered the unique qualities of Dwarf Schefflera and set new standards of quality and quantity! It was a year in which each staffer learned their individual roles well and meshed as a close-knit team. Fuku-Bonsai's complex operations requires each and every staffer to know a lot of specific details to do their job well. It is necessary for staffers to be cross-trained to fill in where needed.
Customers always ask how we pack our plants and are amazed at the arrival condition. We share with you one such training session in which we packed and shipped a large Custom Collection. Cross-Country (Part I: Packing the shipment)
Visitors told us that they try to keep their juniper bonsai alive for as long as possible, then buy another juniper bonsai when it dies. Most customers begin with our slow-growing easy-care Hawaiian Lava Plantings and they are delighted they can keep them alive. By using our Conversion Kits to enlarge the root systems, they're getting superior growth and are now actually enjoying training!
Bonsai Clubs International's Bonsai Magazine. The November-December issue was built around "Junipers" and includes a Beginner's Column, articles and news from Germany, Italy, the United States and other countries. Editor Donna Banting continues to break new ground in presenting the wide world of bonsai! Visit www.bonsai-bci.com
Andy Rutledge's The Bonsai Enthusiast - Online Journal is expanding to several new language editions! You now have a great place to go when you have an itch for bonsai news and reading! We'll continue quarterly submittals to support Andy and share Tropical and True Indoor Bonsai news and techniques. Our current "Fuku-Bonsai Corner" is about the Hawaii State Bonsai Repository and restyling Haruo "Papa" Kaneshiro's Ironwood. See http://www.bonsaienthusiast.com/fukubonsai102.htm
Introducing the World Bonsai Friendship Federation (WBFF) website! The dream of the "World War II Generation" led by Japan's Saburo Kato, California's John Naka, and international bonsai leaders came to life in 1989. Haruo Kaneshiro and Ted Tsukiyama ably represented Hawaii. Now they are passing the torch to Felix Laughlin, president of the National Bonsai Foundation, as the new WBFF chairman. Felix (with Andy Rutledge as the webmaster) hope to go online in the near future.
SECTION I. FUKU-BONSAI MAIL ORDER. Customers recommended that prices include shipping and there be a short listing of complete gift items separately and these are now in the 2002 GIFT LIST. Other items are in 2002 TRUE INDOOR BONSAI PRODUCT LIST, etc. There's a new simpler PAYPAL procedure!
SECTION II: ABOUT FUKU-BONSAI & "FUKU-BONSAI.COM". Our staff is the finest group in our history and we are now poised for growth and expansion. It's time for you to MEET OUR STAFF! Many visitors comment and expected to see a huge company with a large sign on the highway. They're surprised to be directed to a gravel road to a modest nursery that encourages visits by community children and senior citizens but which doesn't allow tour buses. We're pleased to introduce KURTISTOWN and a nice note from long-time customers visiting for the first time. Go to: "Visiting Fuku-Bonsai."
SECTION IV: TRAINING TRUE INDOOR BONSAI. There's a lot of activity as more customers participate in workshops, request assistance, etc. Some interaction is being posted at FAQ #2 Training Keiki Bonsai & True Indoor Bonsai. There will be continuing updates and all customers are invited to participate in the forum to help everyone!
Bonsai can be complex and challenging with the basic concepts and training techniques relatively easy to grasp. Much of bonsai has to do with being able to understand how trees develop over time. It would be helpful to those at the earlier stages of training Dwarf Schefflera to gain an insight into advanced training techniques and two major articles have been posted.
Advanced Accelerate & Control Growth Techniques shows a potentially exciting specimen now 25 years in training. By pre-training a tree, then giving it an extended period of unrestricted growth, the tree gains strong stout trunks and branches that are impossible to develop by traditional conservative bonsai techniques. Each such growth stage is followed by a major training session as it re-enters another controlled growth stage. This is a major technique that we use to develop our outstanding larger Custom Collection trees.
"Hawaiian Spinning Porpoise" is a report of one of the most innovative specimens now in training as a "Fuku-Bonsai University" workshop with Kirk Harris and Fred Galloway participating. Kirk and Fred may be playing a larger Fuku-Bonsai role in the future and it was fun allowing them to be a part of a major training session of an innovative styling concept.
"Roots & Bows!" is a photo report of the December Bonsai at the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center in which we collected and trained a Dwarf Schefflera epiphyte. This was one of our most challenging and innovative styling efforts to date.
As we shift from survival to rebuilding to expansion, there are a number of exciting new product developments in progress. We finally have some time to work on long-delayed projects and major styling of premium bonsai. We'll share these stories in future newsletters. Stay tuned!
- Each year more friends and customers realize that Fuku-Bonsai is a dream that began with my family in 1972. When it became clear that my children would not take over the business, we incorporated in 1985 to include mostly Big Island stockholders with the stated goals of:
- 1. Preserving and perpetuating the art and cultures of bonsai.
- 2. Aiding the economy of the community. And,
- 3. Complimenting and enhancing the Big Island visitor industry.
These 1985 idealistic goals produced the former 17-acre Keauhou-Kona Fuku-Bonsai Center which opened in 1992 to critical acclaim. Unfortunately we sprayed defective Benlate fungicide at the Kurtistown nursery in 1989 and 1990 which killed or stunted most of the bonsai that had been in training since 1973. Without that income, we could not subsidize the visitor center. Fuku-Bonsai sought bankruptcy protection, the center closed and was eventually sold at foreclosure.
All creditors have been paid 100% plus interest and the bankruptcy was cancelled. With stockholder loans and community support, we completed nursery and staff rebuilding in the past year. We continue our litigation against DuPont in federal court in Honolulu. While DuPont has been again successful in moving back our trial to January 3, 2003 (with additional delay rescheduling possible), we fully expect that a jury will eventually award a significant amount of damages and punitive damages.
We're proud that a large number of Big Island resorts, hotels, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, and other businesses support our efforts by displaying our plants, distributing our broshures, and recommending us. We could not have otherwise survived! I promise that we'll do all that we can to build the highest quality and most ethical bonsai nursery in the world! We'll support the Hawaii State Bonsai Repository and the Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation so future generations will be able to begin on the educational platform that we're building. There are no secrets and everyone can be successful. We will continue to promote and support bonsai as an art, craft, and hobby.
2001 was an exciting and satisfying year! 2002 is already shaping up to be far more eventful! Since 1992, the staff has worked hard to position the company first for survival, then in laying the foundation for an exciting future. In looking back, we were the beneficiaries of an endless amount of support and goodwill. Life must be both give and take and we fully intend to pay back by continuing to preserving and perpetuating the art and cultures of bonsai, aiding the economy of the community, and complimenting and enhancing the Big Island visitor industry.
- We fully support the concept that bonsai be a candle for peace and a symbol of friendship. Fuku-Bonsai is dedicated to creating the most successful form of bonsai for everyone. We specialize in researching and training houseplant bonsai and our TRUE INDOOR BONSAI are now the most successful gift bonsai for anyone who can grow houseplants. We were fortunate to survive and I thank our stockholders, officers and directors, associates, and especially our loyal friends and customers for their support and assistance. WE ARE AGAIN COMMITTED AND GROWING FOR THE FUTURE! MAHALO!
- ~~~ David W. Fukumoto, editor, FBnews
- President & founder, Fuku-Bonsai Inc.
FBnews is a free periodic newsletter for the members of the Fuku-Bonsai Study Group and the friends and customers of the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center & Hawaii State Bonsai Repository. It includes current sales and articles of interest to those growing True Indoor Bonsai or any other form of artistic pot plant. To receive email notification of new issues, send an email to email@example.com with your name, city and state. There is no fee, but donations to the non-profit Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation are gratefully accepted.