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ISSUE #8. August 2013
Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation


Journal Editor
President, Fuku-Bonsai Inc.
Journal Contributing Editor
Author, bonsai instructor


Journal Contributing Writers
(Bozeman, Montana)
(Waipahu, Hawaii)
(Polson, Montana)
(Long Beach, California)
(Pleasant View, Utah)
(Virginia / Bahrain)
(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 months.  

             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 heritage. 

             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 them.

            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 stunted plant! 

            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 owner-trainer! 

           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 another!  ~~~David        

        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.

            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 pace. 
             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.
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.
OOPS!  BIG 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 LESSON!
          (Contributing writer)  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.
          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 cuttings.
         Growing Bonsai 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!
          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 old twins! 
An interesting project has begun to test the theme:  "BONSAI; Bridge to International Friendship and Peace!"
First we teach the teacher and send him off to teach!
           We request all possible help to recover 12 bonsai stolen on Oahu from Walter Liew's Hawaii Bonsai Cultural Center in Waimanalo.  Reward
           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 Indoor Bonsai
*** Go to the 6th June 2013 Issue of Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai
*** Go to the 7th July 2013 Issue of Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai
*** Go to Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation website home page
*** Go to Fuku-Bonsai website home page
           © Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation and Fuku-Bonsai, 2013