Well, it’s been an eventful time at the Museum! With World Bonsai Day and the Bonsai Festival under way last weekend, Michael [James, museum specialist] and I were busy all week getting everything set up. We created the tokonoma display with a large maple forest and the World Bonsai Day scroll plus an accent plant. We also set up a memorial display using the Ezo spruce gifted to President Clinton by bonsai legend Saburo Kato in an effort to promote world peace through the art of bonsai. We polished the pot, pruned and mossed the tree, and displayed it on a burled wood slab. The display was complete with Kato’s bust atop an elegant stand.

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During the Bonsai Festival, I had an opportunity to help Danny Coffey (apprentice at Bonsai Aichien and a former bonsai intern at the Museum) and Ted Pickett (volunteer of the year at the Museum) with organizing the bonsai demonstration and selling raffle tickets for the finished demo tree.

To a crowd of about 80 people, Danny presented a first-rate lesson on bonsai basics, repotting, after-care and maintenance. Guests paid close attention and asked Danny numerous questions about everything from watering to wintering, and one lucky young lady was elated to win the raffle. She went home with the finished demonstration bonsai. Local clubs also held a juried tokonoma competition. Each local club set up their respective tokonoma displays for the jury and one club was awarded a prize.

In the words of Saburo Kato, “Bonsai is enlightenment and brings peace. It is well known and appreciated. It is the duty of all of us who love bonsai to keep alive this torch of peace.” And that is the purpose of World Bonsai Day: to promote peace in the world through bonsai. That is what makes all the hard work we do for these trees worth it.

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  1. Milton Phoebus /

    Wow, thank you! This was very interesting. I attended WBD at the museum and was so impressed with the displays. Great job.

  2. mary foote /

    enjoy reading about your experiences at the museum. You have inspired me to try caring for a bonsai of my own. looking forward to next month’s blog.

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