I recently had an email exchange with someone that was interested in attending college to study bonsai. I gave it some thought before crafting a response. Below is my reply:
To my knowledge there is not a college program anywhere in the United States that relates to bonsai.
There are a number of bonsai professionals spread across the country, the most successful of which have studied in Japan. The Japanese apprentice program is very difficult, but very rewarding.
studied in Japan and has helped others make contact and begin apprenticeships in Japan. Boon offers an Intensive program that may help you prepare, if an apprenticeship is something you are interested in.
is another American bonsai professional that studied in Japan. He offers what he calls "Seasonals" that may also be a good experience for you. Michael wrote a book about his experience as a bonsai apprentice in Japan, which is a good and fast read.
recently completed his apprenticeship with Masahiko Kimura. Ryan offers a wide range of educational opportunities. He is an extremely energetic and engaging person.
is currently a bonsai apprentice in Japan, studying at Aichien (http://bonsaiaichien.com/).
is another new American apprentice studying in Japan.
is another American that studied, and continues to return to Japan. He also posts some great videos.
Owen Reich (Owen is slacking and doesn't have a website yet) is currently studying with Mr. Fujikawa, and is featured often in Bjorn's videos.
I would also highly recommend the following resources:
a great blog covering all things bonsai.
Bonsai Study Group
is perhaps the most focused online bonsai forum at the moment.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
What do you think? Did I miss any? I tried to put together a rather detailed list of the current and past American bonsai apprentices in Japan, past and current. I won't deny my personal bias towards recommending my teacher, Boon Manakitivipart, but I tried to include others, too. The great part about those bonsai professionals that I've had the chance to meet is that they're all as nice as they can be and are willing to help out in any way that they can.
Does anyone know of any college bonsai programs out there right now?
This Thursday, June 16th marks the beginning of "Bonsai in the Bluegrass", the joint ABS and BCI Symposium hosted by the Greater Louisville Bonsai Society.
Bonsai in the Bluegrass will be hosted by the Greater Louisville Bonsai Society and will include 46 learning sessions and workshops, a bonsai display, vendors area, and several bonsai demonstrations. We have scheduled instructors from around the world who will share their expertise with the attendees. Two hundred guests from all corners of the globe are expected, including Australia, South Korea, Europe, and all across the US.
This weekend, April 30 and May 1st, the Greater Louisville Bonsai Society will have it's annual Spring show at Yew Dell Gardens. I'll be there and will be bringing a tree to display.
I've written about the event before and always enjoy at least stopping in each year. It's a treat getting a chance to greet people and share the joy and enthusiasm for bonsai with all the visitors. Be sure to stop in and say hello if you get the chance.
This Sunday, April 17th, from 1pm until 5pm I'll be in the Botanica booth at the Jefferson County Master Gardener Association's Gardenaganza at WhilteHall. I will be have a few trees on display and discus the details of growing and creating bonsai.
For more information visit the Jefferson County Gardener Association website, http://jcmastergardeners.org/
See you there!
You've no doubt heard about the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Bonsai professional Isao Omachi and his family lost everything in the tsunami. Several prominent people in the bonsai community around the world have generously donated money and other items in an effort to help.
The Bonsai Study Group bonsai forum is hosting an auction specifically to help the Omachi family. So far a handful of items have been donated for the cause from such people as John Romano, Victrinia Ridgeway, Mike Pollock, Craig Coussins, and myself. It's a great start, but we need more. Feel free to list any bonsai related items. You may donate any percentage of the proceeds you wish.
There are other ways you can help as well. Marco Invernizzi has put together the following information:
Please help the Omachi Family and their village:
Bank Name:Banca Popolare di Ancona
Branch n.287, Osimo sede
Bank Address:Piazza del Comune 4 60027 Osimo Italy
Acc. holder: Marco Invernizzi
Swift Code: BPAMIT31
Bank Code: BLOPIT22
Omachi Relief Fund
P.O. Box 22
Yorklyn, DE 19736
SHINJI SUZUKI just opened another bank account in Japan for donations:
(SWIFT NO.) HABKJPJT
(ACCOUNT NAME) GANBARE ISAO OMACHI ( the spelling is correct )
For mor information please visit this link, http://www.marcoinvernizzi.com/omachiUS_UK/index.html
Here's my big Gyoten nearly in full bloom. I took this photo before
leaving for Brussel's Bonsai Rendezvous 2010 hoping that it would be in
full bloom when I returned. Returned home to find all the rain and heat
and sun took it's toll on the blooms. Now to remove the flowers, trim,
thin, and wire.
I thought I would share some pictures of some early blooms. These are
from a Satsuki Azalea 'Komei' I've been growing out for a little while. It's a little early for Satsuki blooms, but the weather has been pretty strange this Spring.
I really like this variety for the interesting flowers. I think taking some cuttings a little later this year is in order.
There will not be a Matsu Bonsai Study Group meeting in May this year. There will be a lot of work to do in June. Look forward to Japanese Black Pine decandling, Satuski Azalea work, and lots of wiring.