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- ISSUE #8. August 2013
MICHAEL S. IMAINO
DAVID W. FUKUMOTO
- Journal Contributing
- JERRY MEISLIK
- Author, bonsai instructor
- Journal Contributing
- RON DAVIS
- (Bozeman, Montana)
- RYAN CHANG
- (Waipahu, Hawaii)
- RUSS MANN
- (Polson, Montana)
- TRAVIS FARGHER
- (Long Beach, California)
- ROB ANDERSEN
- (Pleasant View, Utah)
- BURTON FLAKE
- (Virginia / Bahrain)
- "KANAKA RYAN"
- (West Hawaii)
ALOHA! In the eight months since we began the Journal of
Tropical and True Indoor Bonsai, we've had a strong and
solid response and I thank you! Please continue to send me
your thoughts. I especially enjoy hearing from our oldest customers
and delighted that our plants are doing well in all parts of the
United States! Welcome Rob Andersen, Burton Flake, and "Kanaka Ryan" to our
editorial team. We expect to have new members in the coming
Increasingly we are coming to the attention of those who have grown
outdoor bonsai from all parts of the country and a funny thing is
happening. Being a very straight talking fellow, before it
gets out of control, I need to clarify and defuse any potential
problems that may be developing and I need your help.
Many are only now learning about TRUE INDOOR BONSAI™ which is
Fuku-Bonsai's trademarked proprietary methodology that is totally
different from the more known traditional Japanese temperate climate
outdoor bonsai. I don't do Japanese bonsai and know very few who try
although almost everyone claims to. They don't! Japanese
bonsai is wonderful if you live in Japan and are of Japanese
But Japanese trees won't easily grow in tropical Hawaii and most of
the U.S. In fact they don't even easily grow in Japan!
Japanese bonsai is extremely difficult and requires extraordinary
discipline, knowledge, and skills. While I've received
Japanese bonsai awards, I don't claim to do Japanese bonsai and I am
very uncomfortable that Fuku-Bonsai is being criticized because we
do not follow what people perceive as the rules of Japanese bonsai.
This is especially painful coming from those with little or no
actual amount of knowledge of Japanese bonsai practices and culture.
So I ask your indulgence as I try to clear the air.
TRUE INDOOR BONSAI is a purely American-Hawaiian innovation to
create a popular form of bonsai that will be successful by anyone,
anywhere who can grow houseplants! Unlike Japanese bonsai,
there are no rules or standards and I discourage competitions.
The simple fact is that those who win bonsai competitions were
either fortunate to have acquired exceptional trees that would
likely be acclaimed masterpieces no matter who owned or trained
Is if fair to have competitions in which everyone did not start with
the exact same quality of plants? We believe
competitions are divisive and should be banned and I've made no
secret of my position. That opened us to criticism and if we
are going to be criticized, it's only right that everyone
clearly understands what we stand for.
There are few if any bonsai secrets. If you want to have good
bonsai, just start with the best plants that will grow well for you.
Obtain trees with high potential that have character within one inch
of the soil line and a compact, complex root system within half inch
of that soil line! Learn to grow the tree as healthy and as
vigorously as possible and resist all practices that will produce a
Learn to grow young trees and if you want to become a trainer, grow
as many trees as you can to get as much experience as possible.
Try to teach others and you'll learn more yourself! These are
the principles that we believe in and practiced by those in our
study group. Our goal is to encourage as many as possible to teach
others. We will support your efforts by making available
high-potential prepared bonsai stock and all needed supplies.
I am especially proud of our INTRODUCTORY WORKSHOP PACKAGE (Workshop
I) and proud that thousands have been sold. I'm delighted that
they are increasingly being used by clubs and with the success,
beginners become more interested in bonsai.
That makes sense. Everyone wants to be successful and what
truly matters is the relationship between the specific plant and its
I feel that this is a sacred relationship and that no one has the
right to try to force a person to train a tree a certain way.
As the relationship become stronger, the tree and the
owner-trainer become true friends and this is what is the most
important. It doesn't matter whether only the owner-trainer thinks
it is special, but it is is very important to that person and I ask everyone to
support and respect this concept. Let's build a True
Indoor Bonsai community in which we support and encourage one
E KOMO MAI . . . come
discover the serenity of nature, the beauty of bonsai, and the
spirit of Hawaii!
An invitation to be a member
of either of two True Indoor Bonsai Study Groups.
- LEARNING AND
TEACHING TRUE INDOOR BONSAI!
The portal page is for serious
trainers who want to learn "Fast-Track Bonsai," for those who
will likely be teaching True Indoor Bonsai with our workshop
packages, or for those who want to learn how to create exceptional
1:10 Project bonsai in shallow saucer-pots.
- There are
two different study groups and both begin with the purchase of
three sets. Those interested in the standard Introductory
Workshop Package will get extra assistance with no obligations.
Those who complete this or already have some bonsai experience
can move into the Fast Track Study Group with each member
setting up their own customized program to move at their own
- Participants will make a pre-report
to address any questions, produce a project report with photos,
receive a critique, produce a pre-report for the second
planting, etc. This will provide extra direct assistance while
assisting in creating a major new workshop package. For
more information contact David Fukumoto at
- A monthly feature by
- Jerry "Bonsaihunk" Meislik,
- MPBF Journal
- contributing editor
Over the last 30 years
or so I’ve improved my bonsai skills. The transition from rank
beginner to more experienced grower has been a slow one. Year by
year I have more confidence and skill in growing plants in
containers. That is not to say that I occasionally do not lose a
bonsai, lose a branch or have a graft that does not work.
There’s been several critical turning points in my personal
bonsai growth. These steps although seeming trivial resulted in
huge changes in my abilities to grow bonsai with success.
- This is a significant article that
explains the basics of Root-over-Rock plantings and included as
the advanced members of our study group are now being taught the
basics of rock planting techniques.
. . . OVER A SEVEN YEAR PERIOD
- By Ron Davis, Contributing writer
(Bozeman, Montana). Roots Over Rock is a unique style of
bonsai design. It adds a third factor
rock to the
standard tree and pot combination. The presence of both organic
and inorganic elements conveys a sense of interaction,
compatibility and time.
BOO-BOO REPORT by Ryan Chang (Contributing writer)
I feel like a hockey player scoring a goal in the wrong net
during the playoffs! I had a great opportunity and was finally
making strides in my growing efforts. But I reversed the design
and wasted the efforts of the past two months. What was going
through my mind? I was cleaning everything up, imagining the
lesson I learned at Fuku-Bonsai. BUT I FORGOT THE MOST IMPORTANT
PREPARING FOR MY
LARGER BONSAI FUTURE! By Ryan Chang
David's critique pointed out that it looked like I struggled. I
didn’t think I struggled and actually thought I sailed right
through it. Even though David suggested Dr. McLean’s previous
report and went on to deliver specific instructions, I
overlooked numerous items. I was not to bend it yet, and was to
keep it as straight upright as possible. I was again wrong, so
did another Re-Do. Okay, let’s start from scratch.
FIRST IWP SUMO REPORT
I have the great pleasure of introducing Robert Andersen of
Pleasant View, Utah. Rob has joined our study group and began
with three Introductory Workshop Packages and a few
complimentary items that may not be widely available or at hand.
He did his homework, requested and received "overgrown" stock to
allow him to immediately prune and begin efforts to root
"KANAKA RYAN" & INNOVATIVE BONSAI TWISTS!
trees is an amazing thing. I knew if I was going to get the most
out of this experience I was going to need to give more, so I
hit the drawing board. I spent about an hour studying my plant.
Then all of a sudden I started to see it. My plant was
talking to me. I knew what I needed to do!
WORKSHOPS AT FUKU-BONSAI - AUGUST 2013
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: 1)
Our youngest 10-year old member, and 2) Our first set of 16-year
BONSAI MISSION & PORTAL PAGE
- An interesting project has begun to test
the theme: "BONSAI; Bridge to International Friendship and
INTRODUCTORY WORKSHOP AT FUKU-BONSAI
- First we teach the teacher and send him
off to teach!
BAHRAIN UPDATE &
FIRST STATUS REPORT
MAILBAG #8 - AUGUST 2013
We request all possible help to recover 12 bonsai stolen on Oahu
from Walter Liew's Hawaii Bonsai Cultural Center in Waimanalo.
- We regret MagAmp (also known as Nutrient Granules™) is no longer
available. An update on Jon's potted unrocked bonsai. Tropical
storm Flossie report.
*** Go to the 1st
January 2013 Issue of Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai
*** Go to the 2nd February 2013 Issue of Journal of Tropical &
True Indoor Bonsai
*** Go to the 3rd March
2013 Issue of Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai
*** Go to the 4th April
2013 Issue of Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai
*** Go to the 5th May 2013 Issue of Journal of Tropical & True
*** Go to the 6th June 2013 Issue of Journal of Tropical & True
*** Go to the 7th July 2013 Issue of Journal of Tropical & True
- *** Go to
Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation website home page
- *** Go to Fuku-Bonsai
website home page
© Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation and Fuku-Bonsai, 2013