What Happened On This Date in "Recent" Bonsai History?


Days 1 - 10
Days 11 - 20

22 1970 -- The episode "Mr. Osaki's Tree" aired for the CBS-TV series "Family Affair."  California teacher John Naka served as consultant for this episode about an old and sick Japanese man (Teru Shimada) going back to his country to die there.  He gives his bonsai to Jody (Johnny Whitaker) who believes Mr. Osaki's health depends on the tree's health. [Naka, Bonsai Techniques, pg. 258; ;,+Teru ]
23 1981 -- Fifteen individuals met at Fuku-Bonsai in Kurtistown, Hawaii to form the Big Island Bonsai Association (BIBA) as a non-profit group of individuals dedicated to the promotion, advancement, and fellowship of bonsai.  It began a three year project consisting of the "Revitalization of Bonsai on the Big Island" that included forming new clubs, "bonsai day" promotional events in various areas, the first All-Big Island Bonsai Show at Wailoa Center in Hilo, and a 10-session bonsai course held over 10 weeks in Hilo, Kamuela, and Kona.  The entire project was co-sponsored by the University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Continuing Education and Community Service, University of Hawaii at Manoa Cooperative Extension Service, State of Hawaii - Wailoa Center, County of Hawaii Department of Parks and Recreation, and various business sponsors and individuals.  [The project would be an outstanding success and in 1984 BIBA would be honored with the Hawaii State First Lady VIP (Volunteers in Paradise) Award.  And on the occasion of the 20th All-Big Island Show at Wailoa Center in 2001, certificates of appreciation were presented to those members that were still active and four of the original group were asked to create a formal bonsai niche exhibit.]  ("Big Island Bonsai Association & All-Big Island Big Show," )

2009 -- Singapore bonsai master Boh Chit Hee died at the age of 73.  [His collection of thirty other large, 50 medium, 400-500 small and mini-sized bonsai would then be cared for by his family.]  (E-mails to RJB from Mo Zhuang Ze on 2 and 6 Apr 2012)   SEE ALSO:  May 3

2012 -- After several years of petitions by our fellow enthusiasts, a set of five postage stamps featuring bonsai were issued today by the U.S.  These were in the format of Forever® stamps, which are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.   SEE ALSO: Jan 29, Feb 3, Feb 16, Mar 1, Mar 27, Mar 31, Apr 3, Apr 6, Apr 18, May 6, May 29, Jun 16, Jul 20, Aug 20, Aug 22, Sep 22, Oct 1, Oct 4, Dec 9.

2017 -- Naokichi Nozaki, 94, of Keaau, died at his home.  Born in Ola'a, Territory of Hawaii about 1923, he was a retired mechanic for the former Hamakua Sugar Company and member of Taishoji Soto Mission, Taishoji Bonsai Club, Big Island Bonsai Association, Lehua Bonsai Club, Kamana Bonsai Club, and Keaau Village Kumiai.  He had been recognized in 2009 by the Japanese Community Association of Hawaii as a Cultural Treasure for his contribution in perpetuating the Japanese Culture of Bonsai.  He had been sensei at two county Hawaii centers.  (per phone call to RJB on March 5, 2017 by Bill Newton, a long-time bonsai teacher -- and two decade associate of RJB -- who was a member at the centers and who was chosen to replace Nozaki about a week before the sensei died; "Naokichi Nozaki,"
25 1967 -- As a Supplement to Farmer's Weekly, Bloemfontein, there was published Capel Hemy's 20 page How to Grow Miniature Trees, Full instructions for practising the ancient art of BONSAI.  With 17 photographs and seven line drawings, it provided the first detailed in-print instructions in the country.  It featured some info on Becky Lucas, who was the Grand Dame of bonsai in South Africa.  (Bonsai first became popular in that country in the 1960's, mainly through the efforts of Mrs. Lucas of St. James, Cape Town, who had already been growing trees for some years.  Becky went to Japan in 1957.  She studied bonsai under a master there for two months at least once.  When she returned to South Africa, she practiced the art of bonsai and started to teach other people.  She was extremely enthusiastic and passed this enthusiasm onto potential bonsai growers.  The South African Bonsai Society was founded in Cape Town in 1960, with Becky as the main driving force.  Meetings were held at her home in Boyes Drive in St James.  True to the Japanese culture she was very disciplined in her approach to bonsai and expected the same from all the members.  Members were expected to attend all meetings (there was trouble if you missed one) and never be late (one member says it was like being in the army).  The meetings were quite something.  Tea would always be served during or after these meetings.  Boyes Drive is just to the east and south of the Muizenberg Mountains, the southern end of the wide crecent of mountains south of Cape Town.  This is at the base of the Cape Peninsula, which holds Table Mountain National Park on the southwest corner of the Cape.  The road rises up to about 30m above sea level, and the land beyond it rises quickly to 200m and then to 400m+.  St. James, Western Cape, is a small village on the coast about halfway down Boyes Drive, overlooking False Bay to the east and south.  St. James, between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay, is about a 25 minute (not rush hour) drive down from Cape Town.  Becky's lovely home overlooking the seahouse was right at the top of Boyes Drive, across from the unspoiled mountainside.  There were some expeditions into the mountain to scout for indigenous species that were suitable for bonsai.  Members observed these trees, but they did not dig.)
        [The summer of 1967 would see a three-month visit to Japan by Becky.  This would include the nurseries of Kyuzo Murata, Nobukichi Koide, and Eiji [sic] Yoshimura, as well as instruction under Toshio Kawamoto.  Her article about this, derived from her letters and reports, would be published in BCI's Bonsai Magazine the following March ("A Summer in Japan," Vol. VII, No. 3, pp. 8-9).  In 1970 Becky would have differences of opinion and make accusations which were possibly libellous against some growers.  She had very clear ideas of what she wanted and had no time for those with different views or opinions.  That year four members of the South African Bonsai Society, who were not satisfied with its "politics," would break away to form the Cape Bonsai Kai.  Bob Richards would be the first chairman (president) and Bernard Coetzee the vice chairman.  Becky would then travel to other cities in South Africa such as Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and East London, creating interest and starting branches of the Bonsai Society (all named "Bonsai Society of South Africa -- [the city's name] Branch.")  In the late nineteen-seventies or early nineteen-eighties Becky would suffer a severe stroke and be left handicapped.  She would move to Johannesburg and her collection of trees would be presented to Stellenbosch University, where they can still be seen in the Arboretum (officially known as Hortus botanicus), in a bonsai-en specially constructed for them.  Wim Tijmans, curator at the time and member of the Cape Town club, would have some trouble explaining the significance of this gift to the powers-that-be at the university, which would include the head of the Department of Botany.  The en would be built in the 1.8 hectare botanical garden.  The Japanese consul in Cape Town would perform the official handing over and the opening of the en.  The Japanese women who attended would be in traditional dress.]
        [Becky would die sometime in the nineteen-eighties.  She had been a very generous and hospitable person, and she apparently never sold a tree; she would rather give it to you.  Her house was always open to people wanting advice and assistance with trees.  People who knew Becky say she was a dignified and gracious lady.  Becky was not one for half measures.  She traveled through the country, teaching bonsai and establishing clubs as far as she went.  Many clubs have this strong-minded person to thank for their existence.]
        [The Boland Bonsai Kai would be situated in Stellenbosch (about 30 miles E of Cape Town and about as far NE of St. James) and its monthly meetings would be held in the Botanical Garden of the university.  The club members would maintain the collection as there was no-one on the garden staff who had the knowledge.  The collection would consist of some of the classic Japanese bonsai species, among them Japanese black pine and Acer palmatum, as well as some less traditional species.  The en, which includes the collection, would be moved in 2010 from a very shady place under the oaks to a more appropriate sunny area.  The trees would then be in much better shape and the members would slowly get them back from the tall and lanky look they would have acquired during the years of neglect in the shade.  This move would be been financed by donations from companies and foundations.
        [With about 300 bonsai trees by September 2012, the Botanical Gardens of Stellenbosch University would for the first time have an official name: The Western Cape Bonsai Heritage Collection.  The name would be registered with the South African Botanical Society.  Besides having trees designed by the late Becky Lucas and the Rev. Gerjo van der Merwe (wild olive trees, Kai apple trees and Chinese elms, among others), since March 2012 the trees belonging to the late Louis Nel of Pretoria would become the new focus point of the collection.  His daughter Zonia, who would live in Stellenbosch, would then donate the extensive collection to the Botanical Gardens on permanent loan.  In addition to South African visitors, the collection would also be popular among people from Britain, Germany, the Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands.]

"A collection of miniature trees at the home of Mrs. Becky Lucas, chairman of the Bonsai Society of South Africa
(Cape)."  (Photo from Capel Hemy's 1967 How to Grow Miniature Trees, pg. 19)

(Personal e-mail to RJB from Coenie Brand, 7 Dec 2010; personal e-mail to RJB from Lionel Theron, 17 Feb 2011; Davis, Doreen  "The Cape Bonsai Kai," Bonsai Journal, ABS, Vol. 12, No. 3, Fall 1978, pg. 59; Cape Bonsai Kai was welcomed in Bonsai Magazine, Vol. IX, No. 7, September 1970, BCI, pg. 7, with mention of its upcoming show October 3 and 4 on pg. 15; The 1970 Index at the end of the March 1971 issue (pg. C) notes that in Vol. IX, No. 2, pg. 13 Sustaining Members and Donors included "Becky Lucas, Cape Town, South Africa - Wim. Tijmens, Cape Town, South Africa."; "Bonsai collection in SU Botanical Gardens gets official name," Sept. 6, 2012,    SEE ALSO: Apr 20, Nov 21

1968 -- The first meeting of the Indianapolis Bonsai Club was held today.  Bev Oliver was elected president.  In the Spring of 1965, she had set up a bonsai booth at the Indianapolis Flower and Patio Show.  Having been transferred from the Cleveland area where she had been exposed to the Cleveland Bonsai Society, she was determined to find others in the area who shared her interest.  In October 1967 the local newspaper ran an article to determine the extent of interest.  Response was very good and finally a club was started with 18 charter members.  [The first IBC Show would be held on May 23 at the Glendale Shopping Center Auditorium, in conjunction with having Lynn Perry Alstadt as lecturer and demonstrator.  About 75 people attended.  The following day, Lynn gave a workshop limited to members only.]  ("Indianapolis Bonsai Club, Club History,"

2007 -- Chris J. Yeapanis of Fairfax, Virginia, died.  (He was born in 1948.  He had been a National Bonsai Foundation Board Member for many years and he also served as its Treasurer.  He was active in the Potomac Bonsai Association (PBA), a founder of the Potomac Viewing Stone Group and a regular contributor to Clippings, the PBA monthly newsletter.  He served as President of the Northern Virginia Bonsai Society, President of the Potomac Viewing Stone Group, and Educational Vice President of PBA.  He was one of the original organizers of the 5th World Bonsai Convention in Washington D.C. in 2005.  Chris had an extensive network of bonsai and viewing stone friends on both coasts.  He was married to his long-time wife Betty.)

("Chris Yeapanis 1948-2007," NBF Bulletin, Spring 2007, Vol. XVIII, No. 1, pg. 2; photo from Alan Walker, also used in this NBF Bulletin and also in
26 1927 -- Ben Oki was born in Sacramento, CA  [Six years later he would go to Japan for his formal education, returning to California in 1950 after graduating from Matsu Moto Business School.  He would marry Sadako, have two children, and begin a landscape business.  In 1958 he would start studying bonsai with teacher John Naka, the latter recognizing the former's keen eye and talent with the art.  Ben would assist John in his demonstrations, travel with him beginning in 1973, and become a sought-after teacher in his own right.  He would be best recognized for his rugged free-form style, fine detail work, and whirlwind wiring technique.  Ben would become a member of numerous clubs in the U.S., and an honorary member of clubs in Columbia and South Africa.  In 1989, Los Angeles Consul General of Japan Seki Hiromoto would honor Ben with a prestigious recognition of the teacher's collected California juniper, "Ryu No Ma" ("Dancing Dragon").  The tree would become a part of the North American Collection at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. in 1991.  Ben would also have a 35-year-old hackbery displayed as part of the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection of Weyerhaeuser in Tacoma, WA.  Since 1984, Ben would lead "Ben Oki's Japan Bonsai Tour" to visit gardens, nurseries, and pottery shops.  Ben's design work would include the garden of screen star Cybil Shepard in Tennessee, and others in the Pacific Islands and South America.  Ben would become curator of the Bonsai Collections at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA.]

("Ben Oki -- A Biography," Bonsai, BCI, Sept/Oct 1991, pg. 33; "Puget Sound Bonsai Association Guest Artist for November 24 & 25, 2002: Ben Oki," ; left-hand image © 2005 Phoenix Bonsai Society; middle image, top right, and bottom right by John Hardy © 2008 Phoenix Bonsai Society; middle right image by Jamie Sims © 2006 Phoenix Bonsai Society)  SEE ALSO: Jan 10, Apr 2

1939 -- Dan Robinson was born in Seattle, WA.  [Thirty-nine years later while demonstrating for the first time at a national convention (Portland, BCI '78), he would transform an upright Ponderosa Pine into a cascade -- using a selection of power tools.  This radical approach would be vilified by some in the bonsai community, but the BBG's Frank Okamura would comment at the convention that Dan was "the Picasso of Bonsai."  Many -- including some of Dan's critics -- in this country and elsewhere would adopt similar methods for creation within a dozen years.  Collecting trees across this continent, his undisputed artistic talents would always be tempered with a passion for "bringing them back alive."  Dan would be hailed as the Father of American Bonsai as he further broadened our horizons with " Focal Point Bonsai Design."  This would challenge the traditional triangular design for all trees by shaping the foliage and branches to surround and frame the area of greatest visual value in our arboreal compositions.  His story would be published in 2010, Gnarly Branches, Ancient Trees: The Life and Works of Dan Robinson, Bonsai Pioneer (Nara Press) by Will Hiltz, with photographs by Hiltz and Victrinia Ridgeway.]

Dan Robinson, 06/17/06, by Walter Pall
(Photo courtesy of Alan Walker, 05/11/07)

( RJB telephone conversation with Diane Robinson, Apr. 15, 2000; website)   SEE ALSO: Nov 5

1996 -- The Dai Ichi Bonsai Kai Web site was established by Rick Wagner.  With the club President's permission, a homepage for DIBK was established at Geocities, a free homepages Web service.  At the time, not only was it the first bonsai club Web site, it was the first bonsai Web site (as opposed to newsgroup) of any kind.  A few weeks after it was established, a search using Yahoo! on the keyword "bonsai" found only the DIBK homepage.  (The club had been organized in early 1986 to serve the South Bay (southern Santa Monica Bay) area of Los Angeles County.)  ("Club History," )  SEE ALSO: Apr 9, Aug Also

27 1949 -- Qingquan Zhao was born in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.  [He would become seriously involved with penjing around age twenty when his father would introduce him to an old friend, penjing researcher Xu Xiaobai.  Learning also from other old masters from various parts of China, he would spend time in the traditional studies of painting and poetry.  In the 1970s he would begin developing the "Water-and-Land" style of penjing to supplement the eight hundred year-old traditional forms of "Tree Scene" and "Mountain-and-River Landscape."  He would start to co-author what would be several texts in Chinese in 1981 before his own work, Penjing: Worlds of Wonderment, A Journey Exploring an Ancient Chinese Art and Its History, Cultural Background, and Aesthetics with his long-time translator Karin Albert would be published in English in 1997.  In 1992 he would make his first Western appearance demonstrating before the Bonsai Societies of Florida Convention; the following year before the second World Bonsai Friendship Federation Convention, also in Florida and in conjunction with BCI and ABS.  A third generation enthusiast, "Brook" (as he would be known to the West) would be Vice-President of the Association of Penjing Artists of China.]

Brook Zhao with interpreter Karin Albert, 04/2001
(Photo courtesy of Alan Walker, 05/11/07)

(Karin Albert personal e-mail to RJB, July 15, 2002; "A Chinese Penjing Artist Visits America" by Karin Albert, Bonsai Magazine, BCI, Vol. XXXI, No. 4, July/August 1992, pp. 11-13; Hu, Yunhua Chinese Penjing, Miniature Trees and Landscapes (Portland, OR: Timber Press; ©1987 Wan Li Books Co., Ltd., Hong Kong), pg. 59 )   SEE ALSO:   Mar 15, Sep 25

2016 - Bonsai artist, suiseki authority and garden designer Arthur Skolnik from Toronto, Canada, died during a holiday with his wife Barbara.  He suffered a massive heart attack while scuba diving in Antiqua.  (In 1980, Arthur was mesmerized by a bonsai display he saw at the Montreal Botanical Gardens and was forever captivated by the art form.  After studying and practicing bonsai, he opened a bonsai business himself.  Then, having spent time in Japan developing his talents, Skolnik released his 58-minute video, "The Growing Art of Bonsai" and continued teaching via lectures/demos all over the world.  He taught seminars in Japanese style gardens and himself won several awards for his own gardens, Shibui Landscaping a multi-award winning landscape construction company specializing in Japanese and Western style gardens since 1988.
        (Arthur had an infectious smile and always kept his audiences laughing with his puns at his very informative and entertaining lectures.  Arthur spoke on and demonstrated the arts of bonsai, viewing stones and Japanese gardens to local and international bonsai and horticultural societies, television and radio stations, both in English and French.  Originally from Montreal where he had a bonsai store, he moved to Toronto many years ago and began putting his artistic and creative talents to work designing unusual gardens.  He continued to maintain his bonsai and suiseki collection.  Together with a few friends Arthur was one of the organizers for the International Viewing Stone Appreciation Conventions held in Pennsylvania.  He, along with Reiner Goebel and George Reichert, helped pave the way back in the 1990s putting Canadian bonsai artists on the map with collected White Cedar (arborvitae) and other pioneering specimens.  He contributed articles to many international publications, including "International Bonsai" and "Bonsai Magazine" (BCI).  Arthur won many prestigious awards for his outstanding bonsai creations.  Both of the times that he submitted photographs of his trees to the JAL (World's 100 Best) Contest, they were accepted.  In addition, three of Arthur's viewing stones are in the permanent collection of National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the U.S. National Arboretum.  Among his many roles in the bonsai community, Arthur served on the Board of Directors of Bonsai Clubs International, as a Director of the Montreal Bonsai Society, and as Vice President of the Toronto Bonsai Society.)

"Art Skolnik, 04/11/03"
(Photo courtesy of Alan Walker, 05/11/07)

[02/01/16 post on BonsaiNut of Facebook posting by William N. Valavanis, ; "Wiring Bonsai," ttp:// ; "Arthur Skolnick Bonsai Basics," October 2008 edition of Billboard, Newsletter of the Bonsai Society of Upstate New York]   SEE ALSO: Apr 10
28 1902 -- Saichi Suzuki was born in Okazaki, Japan, a town some thirty kilometers southeast of Nagoya and 150 km east of Osaka.  [His homeroom elementary school teacher would teach him the basic techniques of bonsai when Saichi was in sixth grade.  Part-time apprenticeship would also be spent at the Toka-en, the bonsai garden of Mr. Kyuichi Kato in Narumi.  In those early days he would be often called "bonsai crazy" because meals and other duties would be delayed until the bonsai were watered.  He originally would not want to become a "professional" but merely wanted to create something he liked.  He would jump into the field starting his professional career as a bonsai artist in 1931.  He would then travel extensively in the Kanto area tending bonsai for his customers while maintaining his collection in his Daiju-en Bonsai Garden in Okazai.  He would go on to be considered the foremost authority and bonsai artist for conifers, especially Japanese black and five-needle pine.  "Zuisho," a dwarf variety of the latter, would be named and championed by Suzuki beginning in the late 1940s, who also would also win the 1976 Prime Minister's award at the First Bonsai Creator's Exhibition.
        "In order to create art of your own time, there's no simple formula.  You just have to keep working at it while you are doing it.  You feel you must make something quite different from anything you have ever seen.  This does not mean that you malign the past; you perpetuate the good points of the old style and in addition you try to produce something even better.  That is the mission of those who respect their era.  Bonsai, which is a legacy for the generations to come, must not be a mere repetition of the past.  Then the achievement of the generation before us will be meaningless...  Bonsai is a very difficult art and if someone asks for a simple formula for it, you cannot give it.  In the case of a painting, when the picture is finished it is completed and stabilized.  But in the case of bonsai, it will always be changing.  It's a perpetual motion.  How skillfully you can manage this changing object is the problem.  Of course, this very problem provides us with a challenge and enjoyment as well.  I always strive to free myself of a set bonsai style.  To express it radically, even opposite or wheel formation branches should be made into a pleasing form without undue stress.  Yet there are no set rules for doing it.  Nature creates far more mysterious things than man's imagination can come up with.  So if you take in interesting forms of nature into the world of bonsai, it will be a great help to those who aspire to learn the technique."
        Suzuki's son, Toshinori, would be a skilled bonsai artist as well and eventually take over the running of Daiju-en.  He would win two Prime Minister's awards for creativity himself.  His son, Toru, would also study the art and work with Saichi and Toshinori.]

"Saichi Suzuki left, and Mikio Oshima discussing Pine bonsai in [Suzuki]'s garden in Okazaki, Japan.
Mr. Suzuki has one of the finest private collections of Pine bonsai."
(International Bonsai, 1988/No. 3, pg. 23)

("Zuisho, Part 1" by Saichi Suzuki, International Bonsai, 1986/No.1, pp. 18-19, "About the Author" and "Zuisho, Part 2," 1986/No. 2, pg. 18)   SEE ALSO: May 14, May 20, Dec 11

2008 -- Nestled in a woody dale at Castle Hill, New South Wales, the Koreshoff Bonsai Nursery closed their doors.  Thus was ended an era in which Vita and Dorothy Koreshoff were instrumental in filling a niche market and making a huge contribution to bonsai as a meaningful hobby and interest in Australia.  While offering a modest selection of stock plants, Koreshoff's specialized in offering both newly created and advanced bonsai.  At the Koreshoff nursery "art" predominated.  Well-styled trees were the offerings.  The closing of their nursery, which had been up for sale for two years, was a significant event.
        (Born in 1909, Vitaly Alexander had had glimpses of a gardener taking care of a few penjing in the family's yard in Harbin, Manchuria.  The family moved to Australia in 1928.  The mother was very upset with the houses on stilts up in Brisbane and so, in an attempt to cheer her, Vita attempted a few dwarf potted trees within two years of their arrival.  Mother was not impressed with that form of gardening, but Vita rose to the challenge.  Growing bonsai at the time was a tremendous amount of trial and error as there was no information available in English and apparently no teachers -- Chinese or Japanese -- in the country.
        (Now, Dorothy Wellings (born in 1930) started working at a shop that did machine embroidery.  It was the Koreshoff family's business and Vita was the owner.  With his sister's assistance, he began courting Dorothy.  They married in April 1949 and she, "Dot," then became interested in bonsai.  Vita used to put out something called "Secrets," little ideas that he had about dwarf potted tree gardening, a lot of the things he had pioneered which he then shared through correspondence with people in New Zealand, England, and America.  Some of the things which he pioneered people are still using today.  He was also a prolific author of articles published by many journals around the world.
        (The first Koreshoff nursery was opened by Vita in 1951.  (The Silver Bell Nursery, owned by Len Webber, also opened that year.)  Their daughters, Deborah Ruslana and Ruslana Ludmila, also joined in with this love of bonsai.  Deborah (b.1957) had her own benches with show quality trees at age 7.  In 1965 they moved from Pagewood out to relatively undeveloped Castle Hill, where they bought four acres.  At the time Dorothy was the only one home during the day because Vita was working at the University of NSW.  He was head of the Fine Arts Department and instead of retiring at age sixty he continued there on to sixty-five.  The Koreshoffs became a primary producer nursery with three-quarters of it the big shed nursery and the collection area.  A lot of stock was growing in the ground.  The trees were lifted up when Dorothy and Vita thought the plants were suitable for young bonsai and for older bonsai.
        (They formed the Bonsai Society of Australia Inc. in August 1965.  (Dorothy has been its president since 1976.)  The family was featured in an illustrated article in The Australian Women's Weekly early June 1969.  In July 1970, Dorothy and Vita helped their friend, Mrs. Dawn Hughes, establish the Illawarra Bonsai Society as a local club in Gymea.  That September the bimonthly Bonsai in Australia magazine was started by the Koreshoffs (through 1991).  The Eastern Districts Bonsai Society was established in the 1970s by Dorothy and Vita.  (The name was changed in 2003 to Sydney City Bonsai Club (SCBC).)  In 1976 the Koreshoff Bonsai Nursery became the first authorized branch of the Nippon Bonsai-Saikei Institute outside of Tokyo.  In March of that year the couple also advised and helped birth the Newcastle Bonsai SocietyBonsai: Its Art, Science, History and Philosophy was written by Deborah and published in 1984.  It has since sold 50,000 copies worldwide and is an important reference book.  She was a lecturer/demonstrator at the Bonsai Clubs International convention in 1980 (Honolulu, HI) and 1983 (Orlando, FL); and the joint BCI/ American Bonsai Society 1984 symposium in Seattle, WA.
        (When Vita died in 1985, Dorothy continued to run the nursery with the full support of Deborah and Deborah's husband, Kenneth Doble.  They also maintained the the Koreshoff collection, with many of the magnificent trees started from seed in the 1930s and 40s.  The year 1985 also saw the reprint in paperback of Dorothy and Vita's 1983's Bonsai with Australian Native Plants (with another in 1992).  Deborah demonstrated at the European Bonsai Association 1993 convention (Zoetermeer, Holland).  Dorothy was a lecturer/demonstrator at the Association of Australian Bonsai Clubs Ltd. conventions in 1988 (Brisbane), 1990 (Adelaide), 1997 (Coffs Harbour), and 2000 (Sydney).  Dorothy and Deborah co-demonstrated at the European Bonsai Association convention in 1992 (Luxembourg).)  Since her induction into the world of bonsai, Dorothy had become a world authority on growing and styling bonsai and received an Order of Australia medal for her services to horticulture.)
        [When the nursery closed, Deborah would sell all her trees and give up bonsai after being heavily involved since the age of 7.  This shy teacher would go on to artistic pursuits that did not require watering or styling.  She would be "out of bonsai and not responding to queries."
        [In early August 2008, two styled landscape-size (about 2.5 metres high) Japanese black pines would be transferred to the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia in Canberra.  The trees had been germinated from seed imported in 1951 by Vita and Dorothy, and were initially grown in sandy soil in a vegetable garden in the eastern suburbs of Sydney.  They were lifted and moved to Castle Hill in 1965.
        [In 2009 Dorothy would be in the process of getting two books completed for publication: The Structural and Growing (Elements of) Bonsai and Art Principles: Structure and Design (The Underground Story).]  

Dorothy and Vita Koreshoff, 1949
(Photo from Hills Voices Online Interview, Part I)

Dorothy Koreshoff, by Walter Pall, 04/15/2004
(Photo courtesy of Alan Walker, 05/11/07)

("Koreshoff Bonsai Nursery -- NOW CLOSED,"; Bonsai Magazine, BCI, Jul/Aug 1983, Vol. XXII, No. 6, pg. 205; Elias, Dr. Thomas S.  "History of the Introduction and Establishment of Bonsai in the Western World," pg. 43,; "Re: Dorothy Koreshoff," posting by pup, November 16, 2008,; "Koreschoff's [sic] To Close," Sydney City Bonsai Club Newsletter, Feb. 2006, pg. 2,; Heimans, Frank interview, "Dorothy Koreshoff, Bonsai Enthusiast," Hills Voices Online, 30 Oct 2009, Parts One and Two, and; Wild, Jean  "A Club is Born," Newcastle Bonsai Society Newsletter, August 2005, pg. 10,*/; "Illawarra Bonsai Society, Inc. -- History,"; "Seminar of Semniars,"; "Re: Deborah Koreshoff," posting by MelaQuin, August 4, 2009 to forum,; "New Update -- August 2008: The Story of Two 1951 Koreshoff Pines," )   SEE ALSO: Nov Also
29 1991 -- The remaining four postage stamps and a souvenir sheet of the series "Bonsai" (first half released Dec. 9, 1990) were issued by the Maldive Islands to commemorate Expo '90, International Garden and Greenery Exposition in Osaka, Japan.   SEE ALSO: Jan 23, Feb 3, Feb 16, Mar 1, Mar 27, Mar 31, Apr 3, Apr 6, Apr 18, May 6, May 29, Jun 16, Jul 20, Aug 20, Aug 22, Sep 22, Oct 1, Oct 4, Dec 9.
30 1935 -- F. Chase Rosade was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  [He would graduate in 1958 from Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture with a major in Ornamental Horticulture.  Two years later he would wed Connie (Tokiwa) Ibara, a native of Japan who was raised and educated in the U.S.  Three years later the pair would begin a two-year trip by land from London to Calcutta, and then fly to Japan.  There, after discovering the world of bonsai via Yuji Yoshimura's book, Chase for eight months would become an apprentice to Kyuzo Yoshida of Nara, a respected bonsai artist and nurseryman who specialized in Japanese White Pines.  Chase would further his studies with a comprehensive course in Bonsai and Saikei from Mr. Kawamoto, the innovator of container landscapes. Upon the Rosades' return to Doylestown, PA, Chase would begin and develop a nursery, begin teaching bonsai in 1968, and two years later would purchase 10 acres of land in New Hope, PA to inaugurate the Rosade Bonsai Studio.  Since the early 1970s Chase would travel throughout the U.S. and Canada, South America, Europe and Asia teaching and demonstrating before hundreds of clubs and groups.  His second wife, Solita D. Tafur of Cali, Columbia, would also be an international demonstrator and officer, and bring to the Rosade Bonsai Studio expertise with tropical material.  In late June 2005, Chase would be in a serious accident when his tractor tipped on him during a turn.  Twelve hours of surgery would be required to reconstruct his hip and care for other internal injuries; a week in the hospital would be followed by three in a transition facility before he could return home, still unable to put any weight on either of his legs for several more weeks.  By the end of 2007, Chase would have participated in conventions in Indonesia, New Zealand and India as a judge and demonstrator.]

(Bonsai, BCI, September 1970, pg. 5)

Mary Bloomer, Alan Walker, Chase Rosade, Vaughn Banting, 05/2003
(Photo courtesy of Alan Walker, 05/11/07)

Solita Rosade with Mary Madison Buttonwood, 10/17/2001
(Photo courtesy of Alan Walker, 05/11/07)

(bio, International Bonsai, 1986/No. 2, pg. 13; Bonsai Magazine, BCI, March/April 1986, pg. 18; "Master Chase Rosade," ; "Lectures and Demonstrations Biographical Information -- Chase Rosade,", ; several postings on the Internet Bonsai Club beginning June 30)

1965 -- The first Bonsai Clubs Association Convention was held at the Gallery of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.  [In three years the BCA would be renamed Bonsai Clubs International.]  ("Hindsight on BCI" by Tom Heitkamp, Bonsai Magazine, BCI, Jan/Feb 1978, pg. 4)   SEE ALSO: Feb 28, Apr 16, May Also


Also this month,

1955 -- The Cleveland Bonsai Club was founded by a group of about half a dozen individuals who shared similar horticultural interests.  Some of these people held high-level positions at the original Cleveland Garden Center.  The Club's first president, Mr. Alexander A. "Alex" Appanius, was then the assistant director of the Cleveland Garden Center.  The Cleveland Club was the second English-speaking Bonsai club started in the United States.
        (On December 4, 1930, The Cleveland Garden Center had opened its doors to the public near Wade Lagoon, about four miles east of the downtown area, becoming the first civic garden center in the U.S.  It would be reorganized as The Garden Center of Greater Cleveland in 1933, offering individual memberships and affiliations with other local garden clubs.  In 1937, it would be incorporated as a non-profit organization.)
        [The Bonsai Club's president in the late 1950s would be Mrs. Margaret S. Cutler.  In 1959, a flash flood along East Boulevard would prompt leaders of The Garden Center to consider finding a new location with more space and higher ground.  A new site would be found just to the north on land that previously had housed the Cleveland Zoo from 1889 to 1907.  Ground breaking for a new location at 11030 East Boulevard would start in October 1964; and, after 14 months and a $1.8 million fundraising effort, The Garden Center of Greater Cleveland would open at its new location on January 12, 1966.  In 1963 the Cleveland Bonsai Club, with Pres. Mrs. Alvert M. Baehr, would host a lecture-demonstration by Japanese master Yuji Yoshimura.  In mid-June 1968, the new American Bonsai Society's First Annual Meeting and Symposium would be held in Cleveland, welcoming 150 registrants from U.S. and Canada.  At the end of May, 1971 the Cleveland Bonsai Club would co-host with the Toronto Bonsai Society what was the World's First International Bonsai Convention and Show for Bonsai Clubs International (BCI).  Cleveland would host the BCI convention in 1982 also.  Mr. Appanius would serve as Director of The Garden Center beginning in 1984 (until 1994?).  In early 1994, The Garden Center would change its name to Cleveland Botanical Garden.  Since at least 2005, the Bonsai Club meetings would be held on the 4th Saturday of the month from 9:30 am to 12 noon at the Rockefeller Park Garden Greenhouse, about three miles to the northwest of the Garden Center.  They would put on a Spring/Early Summer show and often a Fall show as well, utilizing both the Botanical Garden and Rockefeller Greenhouse throughout the year.  Two of the many teachers who started with the Cleveland Club would be Keith B. Scott (joining in 1961) and potter Dale Cochoy, who would serve as a President (2003) and Vice-President after studying with Keith.]   (Cleveland Bonsai Club, About Us; Facebook, Cleveland Bonsai Club; New York Botanical Garden  The Garden Journal, Vol. 9, 1959, pg. 111, which gives formation date as March 1956. Per 16 Jul 2013 e-mail to RJB from Dale Harder, CBC officer and past president, reviewing the first draft of this entry, "our records show that we celebrated our first year in Jan of 1956, but were actually founded in Jan of 1955."; Stephenson, Joseph W.  The gardener's directory, Hanover House, 1960, pg. 94; Herb Society of America  The Herbarist, 1959, Issues 25-29, pg. 69; Cleveland Botanical Garden, "Deep Roots in the Community"; Elias, Thomas S.  "History of the Introduction and Establishment of Bonsai in the Western World," pg. 77; Johnston, Stanley H.  The Cleveland Herbal, Botanical, and Horticultural Collections, Kent State, 1992, pg. viii; Plugged in Cleveland, Cleveland Bonsai Show 2005 and Bonsai Show 2012; PBS Newsletter Archives, May 2003 Meeting.)   SEE ALSO:  May 6, May 29, Jun 15.

1975 -- The Albuquerque Bonsai Club was founded in New Mexico.  ("Club History," )

1985 -- The Korean Bonsai Association was organized.  [In February of 1986 a general meeting would be held to organize three branches, and the group's first exhibit would take place from April 22 through May 17.  The second exhibition would be held in late September, 1988 and the third in March 1990.  The association would be incorporated in August, 1991 and, beginning the following year, the exhibitions would be held annually.]    ( )

1993 -- The Norwegian Bonsai Society (Norsk Bonsaiselskap) was founded.  ( )

2004 -- Kihachiro Kamiya died.  (He was one of the leading bonsai professionals in Japan.  He apprenticed under Toshinori Suzuki (son of Saichi Suzuki) at Daijyu-en in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, Japan (between Kyoto and Tokyo).  This was after study under Yasuo Mitsuya and Masumitsu Kubota.  Following five years of training, Kamiya opened his own nursery, Kihachi-en, in 1976.  He went on to win two Prime Minister Awards at Sakufu-ten (professional entry only, bonsai exhibit) for Informal Upright, Japanese Five-Needle Pine in 1994; and for a Clump of Japanese Five-Needle Pine ("Zuisho") in 2002.  In 1998, Kamiya-san made Sakufu-ten history by being the first to receive all five of the different top awards.  They were: 1985 Ministry of Education Award (Best of Conifer Bonsai), 1990 Nippon Bonsai Sakufu-ten Committee Award (Best of Shohin Bonsai), 1994 Prime Minister Award (Best of Show), 1995 Minister of Environment Agency Award (Best of Chuhin Bonsai), and 1998 Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Award (Best of Broad-leaf/Deciduous Bonsai).  Through the years, Kamiya submitted a countless number of trees that were exhibited in Kokufu-ten.  And over time, ten of his worked-on trees received the highest award Kokufu prize -- eight of those were in consecutive years.  (The Kokufu prize is highly coveted, as it is published under the tree owner's name.)  In late October 1988 Kamiya was one of the headliners at the GSBF convention in Santa Clara, CA, and in November of 1994 he was one of the demonstrators at the joint BCI/GSBF convention in San Jose.  His legacy lives on in the four students he instructed who are now professional bonsai artists.  They are: Akio Kondo, Kanagawa, Japan; Daisaku Nomoto, Miyasaki, Japan; Shingo Matsuda, Nagasaki, Japan; and Boon Manakitivipart, California, USA.)

("Boon's Sensei, Kihachiro Kamiya,"; "An Interview with Boon Manakitivipart: Part 1," June 21, 2007, Bonsai Sashi-no-eda,    SEE ALSO: Jan 28

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