NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
FEDERAL WAY, WA — Two bonsai, estimated to be worth thousands of dollars, were returned to the Pacific Bonsai Museum. The trees were stolen from the public display at the Federal Way museum on Feb. 9.
At approximately 11 p.m. on Feb. 11, security guards discovered the pair of bonsai sitting on the road leading to the museum.
Museum Curator Aarin Packard has examined the trees and has declared them in fairly good shape.
“The Silverberry suffered some damage. It has some broken branches, probably due to improper transportation and handling, but both bonsai trees and their pots appear to be intact, which means they can return to being on public display.”
The Silverberry has been in training as a bonsai since 1946 and was created by a woman bonsai artist, Kiyoko Hatanaka, a pioneer in her time. The other tree, a Japanese Black Pine, was grown from seed in a tin can by Japanese American Jizaburo Furuzawa while he was incarcerated during World War II. It will resume its position as the centerpiece of Pacific Bonsai Museum’s upcoming special exhibition, World War Bonsai: Remembrance & Resilience, opening on May 8.
Museum Executive Director Kathy McCabe, who previously promised “no questions asked” if the bonsai were returned, said, “We are deeply grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support from the community and from the media who raised awareness of the bonsai’s disappearance.”
No details are known about who returned the bonsai or why the thieves took them.
Staff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.