Pacific Bonsai Museum
Please contact before 12/2019

In 2020, to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, Pacific Bonsai Museum will tell the story of how war forever changed bonsai culture in the United States and Japan in its special exhibit World War Bonsai. From the incarceration of Japanese Americans on the West Coast, to the challenges of bonsai cultivation amidst rationing and bombing raids in Japan, to the American GI’s who developed an appreciation for Japanese culture while stationed overseas, there is a direct connection between the events of World War II and the practice of bonsai that we enjoy today.

Pacific Bonsai Museum is seeking photographs, objects, and information related to bonsai culture between 1935 and 1950. Examples include:

  • Photographs depicting bonsai, bonsai nurseries, or bonsai exhibits during this time frame, both in Japan and the United States.
  • Names, oral/written histories, and photos of bonsai from Japanese American teachers/practitioners who experienced incarceration. Photos of bonsai within the camps. Objects, such as bonsai tools or pots, made or used in the camps.
  • Names, oral/written histories and photos of Japanese bonsai teachers/practitioners who lived in Japan during the war and/or who served in the Japanese military.
  • Names, oral/written histories and photos of bonsai teachers/practitioners who served in the U.S military during the War. Specifically, those who were stationed in Japan during the occupation.

People of interest include:
Kiyozu Murata, Keibun Tanaka, Yuji Yoshimura, Ken Sugimoto, Mas Imazumi, Jizaburo Furuzawa, Taki Nagasawa, Kelly Hiromo Nishitani, James Masao Nakahara, Ted Tsukyama, Tom Yamato, Fumiko Frank Nagata, Sam Doi, Morihei Furuya, Sobuku Nishihira, Homei Iseyama, and Toshio Saburomaru.

If you have information or objects to share, or are interested in volunteering to help locate, collect, and conduct research pertaining to these subjects for use in this exhibit, please contact Curator Aarin Packard at or 253-353-7345 at your earliest opportunity. Exhibit materials will be finalized by December 2019.