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


Days 11 - 20
Days 21 - 29 +

3 1998 -- " Bonsai," a set of seven postage stamps, was issued by Vietnam.   SEE ALSO: Jan 23, Jan 29, 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.
7 1890 -- The Yokohama Gardeners Association was established by a group of four Japanese nurserymen (Uhei Suzuki, Mr. Yamaguchi, Mr. Iijima, and Mr. Suda) for the direct exportation of numerous varieties of Japanese plants, seeds, and bulbs.  Uhei Suzuki had worked for Louis Boehmer for seven years until he left with Boehmer's encouragement to take a leading role in establishing this association.  [The Yokohama Gardeners Association would issue its first catalog in English in 1891.  Through its Oakland, California branch office, it would participate in the Chicago Columbian Exposition in 1893.  This could easily explain the origin of the large bonsai specimen that Charles Sargent would see in Chicago and write about in Gardens and Forest magazine in that same year.  The "grounds cover 200 acres of land; include greenhouses and stores too numerous to mention, and the floral and nursery business is carried on in the most perfect manner.  Palms, pæonies, plums, cherries, evergreens, magnolias, and all classes of shrubs are in cultivation; also 600 to 800 varieties of chrysanthemums, including about seventy altogether new ones...  But the most curious feature of all, was the hundreds of thousands of dwarf trees from five to 500 years old, the most beautiful collection of its kind in the world."]
        [Uhei Suzuki would come to the United States in 1893 and contract with Henry & Lee Company for the promotion of the Yokohama Gardeners Association's products in all areas in the United States east of the Mississippi River.  At some point between 1893 and 1894, the Association, located at Nos. 21-35, Nakamura in Yokohama, would re-organize into the Yokohama Nursery Company, Ltd. (aka Yokohama Seed Company, Ltd.) and continue issuing impressive catalogs in English with beautiful colored, woodblock illustrations.  They would close their California office in 1895 to concentrate on their New York office.  The Yokohama nursery catalogs would be the only ones to offer extensive information in English concerning the cultural requirements for their dwarf trees.  They would contain precise information about watering techniques both during the winter and summer months, identify correct exposure and light conditions, and when and how to apply fertilizer (finely powdered oil cakes or bone meal).  Additional instruction on pruning conifers, flowering and deciduous trees would be included.  This consortium of nursery owners would dominate the lucrative market of flower export at the height of the Western vogue for Japanese gardens.  They would be a major influence in the introduction of exotics into Europe and America.  The Nursery would issue catalogs until at least 1925/26.]
        [In December 1901, U. S. Department of Agriculture scientist and plant explorer David Fairchild would spend a day at the Yokohama Nursery with Suzuki and his son, Hamakichi.  Fairchild would then in 1938 write that the nursery had offices in New York and London and was doing an enormous business in lily bulbs and employed over a hundred workers.  Fairchild would provide evidence that bonsai was indeed a significant part of the Yokohama's nursery export business.  He would see dwarf potted trees neatly arranged on long tables and even larger trees in figured blue and white porcelain pots.  Also seen were tiny maples in small pots of green porcelain no larger than a teacup and flat porcelain trays containing groups representing little garden scenes, or miniature clumps of bamboos.]
        [In 1906, Fairchild would import 100 flowering cherry trees -- nondwarfed -- from the Yokohama Nursery Company.  He would plant the trees on a hillside on his own land in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where he was testing their hardiness.  Pleased with the success of the trees, the following year he would begin to promote them for planting along the avenues of Washington, D.C. (continuing the idea originated by Eliza Scidmore two decades earlier).  A total of 2,000 trees would arrive on Jan. 6, 1910 in Washington, D.C., but these would be infested with insects and diseases and would have to be destroyed.  The following December cuttings would be taken from the famous collection on the bank of the Arakawa River in Adachi Ward, a suburb of Tokyo, and grafted on specially selected understock in Itami City, Hyogo Prefecture.  From these, 3,020 cherry trees would be shipped Feb. 14, 1912 from Yokohama to D.C.'s Tidal Basin via Seattle.]
        [In 1911 Ernest Coe would buy some 30 dwarf potted trees from Yokohama and two years later Larz Anderson some forty trees from them also.  These trees would become the start of two of America's oldest collections, at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Harvard's Arnold Arboretum, respectively.]

Head Office of the Yokohama Nursery Co., Ltd.
"Photograph of main office of the Yokohama Nursery Company from
the 1908 catalogue."
(Del Tredici, Peter  "From Temple To Terrace," Arnoldia, Vol. 64, Numbers 2-3, 2006, pg. 5)

(Elias, Thomas S.  "History of the Introduction and Establishment of Bonsai in the Western World," pp. 15, 23, 24, 25; grounds cover 200 acres quote from Comley, James  "My Visit to Japan"; Henry Sotheran Limited,, pg. 64; Antique Print Room, "Botanical Foreign," which states that the first catalog was 1892;  Per the Gardeners' Chronicle, May 23, 1891, pg. 648: "The Yokohama Gardeners' Association has published a descriptive catalogue of Japanese plants, with some curious and interesting illustrations, comprising new forms of Chrysanthemums, and several illustrations of dwarf trees, for which these ingenious people are renowned.  One of these shows, all growing in one small vase, and as it appears one out of the other, Pinus parviflora, the emblem of long life, Prunus Mume, Queen of Tree Flowers, and a Bamboo, the image of Virtue."; "Truth and Beauty, in Pots: Bonsai at Harvard,"; "The Cherry Trees of Washington, D.C., A Cultural Landscape," )    SEE ALSO:  Jan 1, Apr 13, May 14; and Comley's article.
8 1908 -- Haruo Kaneshiro was born in Kanegusuku village, Okinawa, Japan.  [He would go to Hawaii at the age of 13 with his father as part of a large immigrant work force towork as a field and millhand on sugar plantations along the coast on the Big Island of Hawaii.  In that U.S. Territory he would discover bonsai and later become the premier artist of that state.]  ("Persons born 08 February 1908 in the Social Security Death Master File,"   SEE ALSO: Sep 23

2008 -- Grandmaster Saburō Katō died in Omiya, a few months shy of his 93rd birthday.  (William N. Valavanis' post, "The Passing of Saburo Kato," Internet Bonsai Club, February 8, 2008,   SEE ALSO:    Feb Also, Mar 10, Mar 19, Mar 28, Apr 19, May 15, May 25, Oct 15, Nov 3, Nov 20, Dec 13

Days 11 - 20
Days 21 - 29 +



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