FBnews       Issue No. 8; JULY 2004
A newsletter for the Fuku-Bonsai Study Group, Micro-Lobster Team, friends and customers
of the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center & Hawaii State Bonsai Repository
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      Fuku-Bonsai president David Fukumoto with one of the "trees" in the small bonsai collection.  It is a Chinese Box-Orange (Severinia buxifolia), a relative in the citrus family.  The photo is courtesy of William Edmark,  a recent visitor to the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center.

      It has since been potted into a smaller pot that is 1" in diameter x 1/2" high. The plant measures about 1" tall above the pot rim.  This is part of one of the stories being considered for the next FBnews.


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     Introducing our smallest 1-quart OPAE-ULA DESKTOP UTOPIA!




by David W. Fukumoto, president & founder, Fuku-Bonsai

                ALOHA!  IT'S BEEN HECTIC HERE and over six months since the last FBnews issue! With this issue,  we are consolidating the Micro-Lobster Team newsletter with our larger circulation Fuku-Bonsai FBnews to share all information with everyone!  There are significant news in both TRUE INDOOR BONSAI and MICRO-LOBSTER specialties!

                TRUE INDOOR BONSAI has seen great success in the smaller Living Lovable product line that previously quickly sold out. Although production has been increased and plants are now more developed,  quantities will be in relatively short supply for the next year or so. The introductory sale pricing is over, but they are still available at a new "Mix and Match II" quantity special offer. Much of the content of this issue is due to Jerry Meislik's week long visit here and the publication of his new book FICUS, The Exotic Bonsai.

                 I am sad to report the passing of John Yoshio Naka, America's premier and pioneering professional on May 19, 2004 and a personal tribute leads this issue. John has been our role model and he will be deeply missed.  With the continuing shift to True Indoor Bonsai,  there's been request for articles of a more advanced nature. So there's an update on the Fuku-Bonsai Reduction-Building technique that we introduced in 1981 as well as other articles on pruning.

               MICRO-LOBSTER progress has been more spectacular! I thank everyone . . . the Fuku-Bonsai customers who trusted us enough to purchase our premium $100+ products . . .   those who have grown opae-ula longer than we have who shared their knowledge with us . . . those who are intimately involved in the preservation of anchialine ponds and opae-ula . . . researchers who are making remarkable breakthroughs! MAHALO! Fuku-Bonsai is emerging as the leader of this highly specialty field. The Micro-Lobster Website is already the most comprehensive resource information in one place and will continue to grow to someday rival the True Indoor Bonsai website that now has over 700 pages if printed out.

                It's hectic here, but exciting as Fuku-Bonsai continues to improve in both specialties.   Prices have increased for the first time in several years.  Due to high Hawaii costs,  it is unlikely that we will ever be able to produce cheap products. We continue to be committed to being the outstanding premium source of the highest quality and highest value products! 

                MAHALO! (Thank you!)  ~~~David W. Fukumoto 

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       A TRIBUTE TO JOHN YOSHIO NAKA.   John passed away after an extraordinary life of contributions in all phases of bonsai is an art, craft, hobby and profession. In his lifetime, he was honored by Fuku-Bonsai and just about every bonsai and cultural organization.
       INTERNET REPORT & RECOMMENDATIONS.   In the past year,  we have been plagued with computer problems, crashes, virus attacks, etc. It's frustrating!  I've tried to put down some throughts and recommendations to explain why we do what we do. We're placing more emphasis on training and recommend reviewing the portal titled:   TRAINING TRUE INDOOR BONSAI. And if you need help,  email early with a lot of information, and small photo files. I'll try to help.

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       AN INTRODUCTION TO THE HAWAII STATE BONSAI REPOSITORY AT THE FUKU-BONSAI CULTURAL CENTER.  The repository was established in 1985 to serve as the public guardian of outstanding bonsai to honor their original owner-trainers. Now when Hawaiian bonsai masters past away, their best bonsai can come here to live to be enjoyed by visitors. The repository is administered in the public domain by the non-profit Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation and supported and underwritten by Fuku-Bonsai Inc.
MPBF-Meislik ficus 4.jpg (11800 bytes)       INITIAL TRAINING OF "MAHALO!" BY JERRY MEISLIK.  Jerry is being honored as a guest trainer of an outstanding potential ficus donated to the repository by MPBF president emeritus Hiroshi Ikeda. This is a comprehensive story of one tree in the repository with a follow-up link to a number of possible stylings.  Jerry will direct the future styling of this tree.

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      "MAHALO" IN THE FUTURE.  In this Part II section, Jerry Meislik discusses and sketches several possible shapes that this tree may take in the future.

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        BOOK REVIEW:  "FICUS; THE EXOTIC BONSAI" BY JERRY MEISLIK.  Jerry lives in northern Montana where he's created an impressive outstanding environment for growing ficus and other bonsai indoors year-around.  His specialty is the Ficus, or Fig family as bonsai and this is the finest book available on this subject and is highly recommended.
wpeA.jpg (10987 bytes)         THE HAWAII-TAIWAN BANYAN. In the 1970's there were several hybrids between the Chinese and Taiwan Banyan.  This included one that was a gift by Haruo "Papa" Kaneshiro.  Now 30-years old, it has gone as a gift to Montana as it begins new styling under it's third owner-trainer.
DwfScheff simple training sketch Nov 2002 8in.jpg (52539 bytes)        LESSION #3 - PRUNING.   As our customers progress in their training efforts,  we are increasingly asked questions of a more advanced nature and this article was written to assist them.
Reduc-Build II. 1 72dpi 4x3in.jpg (16087 bytes)         REDUCTION-BUILDING II.   An updated report of the original trees that introduced the Fuku-Bonsai Reduction-Building training technique in 1981. The trees had been grown from seeds germinated in 1974. Now 30 years old, it was time to evaluate and recommit to the original styling concept!
wpeB.jpg (8486 bytes)         "ARCHWAYS TO FANTASY;"   bonsai as "art!"  Here's a unique bonsai created with unique material and guided by a fantasy concept. Bonsai can be shared as a hobby or approached with the discipline and detail of a craft.  But bonsai as art?
wpe3.jpg (16256 bytes)         OLD CHINESE HOMES.    Most learned Japanese bonsai and have difficulty understanding Chinese penjing.  The two cultures are very different! Recently Frank Xu of Nanjing, China sent some photos of traditional Chinese homes. The differances from Japanese homes may help to give a better understanding of the cultures.
Dwf Scheff HS8(M) 4in.jpg (13558 bytes)        "MAHALO MIX & MATCH SPECIAL II"   Unfortunately, the Internet has created a number of scams and Fuku-Bonsai is committed to becoming a major source and resource for those interested in high success easy-care indoor bonsai. Usually a first-time customer will cautiously and prudently purchase a single smaller item and these are very costly to ship.   As a way of saying "MAHALO" to our repeat customers, the special is for FIVE PLANTS AT AN AVERAGE OF $20 EACH INCLUDING SHIPPING!  Five gift items or the start of a collection!
             We introduced Micro-Lobsters on June 23, 2003 and as we celebrate our first anniversary I report extraordinary success in all areas! Fuku-Bonsai is committed to making this our second specialty and see the day when it will be larger than our True Indoor Bonsai specialty!

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          MICRO-LOBSTER TEAM REPORT #3.   Just as we researched True Indoor Bonsai and invited our customers to participate, Micro-Lobster research is progressing rapidly! But there are other more complex factors involved including preservation and restoration of anchialine ponds, getting clearance to use rotenone to remove alien predator fish, developing a community concensus and creating public policy, basic opae-ula research, etc.  Initially, the Micro-Lobster Team included only those who expressed an interest and commitment to participate.   However, it has become increasingly difficult to produce two major newsletters for two groups and the Micro-Lobster Team newsletter is consolidated into the Fuku-Bonsai's larger circulation FBnews to share all news with everyone. 
wpeC.jpg (7974 bytes)            CURRENT PRODUCT PRICE LIST.   With the completion of the year long introductory prices,   we are making price adjustments that reflect the upgrades and improvements since the initial introductions.  We continue to be committed to producing the premium products with the highest values and success rates! The 1/2-gallon Introductory Mini-Breeder Tank and the 3/4-gallon Educational Breeder Tank are proving to be superior products. We introduce the 1-quart Opae-ula Desktop Utopia as an affordable new item.
Micro-Lobsters 3-group 3x4 72dpi.jpg (24754 bytes)             MICRO-LOBSTER BASICS (PORTAL PAGE).  There have been a general updating of all previous pages in this portal section including extensive information regarding anchialine ponds, reproduction, etc..
wpe11.jpg (15599 bytes)         THE ANCHIALINE PONDS. The great majority of these rare eco-systems are found on the Big Island of Hawaii. Opae-ula are unique creatures that require extremely tiny amounts of oxygen and food and they've adapted to these unique environments.  An understanding of the anchialine ponds are necessary to appreciate the amazing Hawaiian Micro-Lobsters!

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          MICRO-LOBSTER REPRODUCTION CYCLE. This is a reproduction summary to better understand the various stages of reproduction that begins with molting.  The left photo shows a 5-day old larvae swimming in a head down - tail up manner as the swimmeretts develop.  It takes 13-15 days for it to begin swimming horizontally and enter the post-larvae stage. At this point they are about 2.5mm (about 1/8") long.
wpeA.jpg (9609 bytes)        EGGS, LARVAE, POST-LARVAE DEVELOPMENT.  Reports of reproduction in the Introductory Mini-Breeder Tanks are coming in. This outstanding report is by David Chung of Honolulu.  He has a lot of really good ideas to create a "nursery" tank so the babies don't get rammed by the adults.  David had 10 eggs hatching with all surviving!

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         THREE TYPES OF OPAE-ULA UNITS.   First there were sealed glass ecosystems in which only light entered.   Then some questionable promoters appeared proclaiming: "THE PERFECT PETS THAT NEVER NEED TO BE FED! Fuku-Bonsai entered this marketplace determined to offer the finest units and effectively became the third wave.  To differentiate our products, we trademarked: "THE AMAZING HAWAIIAN MICRO-LOBSTERS!™"  This section compares all three types. 
ML-6 Utopia 72dpi 4x3.jpg (10334 bytes)       THE STORY BEHIND THE NEW "OPAE-ULA DESKTOP UTOPIA!"    We are delighted that we were able to introduce a smaller entry-level Micro-Lobster product at a more affordable price. The cost of a 1-quart unit is obviously lower than a 1/2-gallon unit with twice as many Micro-Lobsters. But we also eliminated the canister light, background panel, and handbook. We believe these tradeoffs will allow more people to be able to experience the amazing Hawaiian Micro-Lobsters. This is the story of a year-long effort to improve our technology to make this smaller unit possible.

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        DEVELOPING AN EDUCATIONAL PACKAGE & DISCOUNT. The Educational Breeder Tank is our pride and joy and we believe it represents our best value!  It allows a large number of Micro-Lobsters (30+) that are much more active in swimming laps and filter-feeding.  We're not sure why. With just a 5.5" x 5.5" x 12" tall, it's a great size for any desk to relieve stress, relax your mind, and refresh your spirit!  Students become interested and learning begins!  To support and encourage the use of this unit as a teaching tool, Fuku-Bonsai is offering a $25 educational discount to teachers, schools, and those donating the unit to teachers or schools!
          PO Box 6000 (Olaa Road), Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760
          Phone (808) 982-9880; FAX (808) 982-9883;  URL: www.fukubonsai.com
          E-mail:  david@fukubonsai.com        2003, 2004 Fuku-Bonsai Inc. 
*** Go to Premier October 15, 2001 issue of FBnews  
*** Go to the previous FBnews #7 (Christmas 2003)
*** Go to Fuku-Bonsai Home Page

            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 sales@fukubonsai.com with your name, city and state.  There is no fee, but donations to the non-profit Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation are gratefully accepted.