An HBO documentary, premiering on Dec. 12, 2023, spotlights the Pacific Bonsai Museum’s role as stewards of an 82-year-old Japanese Black Pine tree, and its international attention after a theft.
“Trees and Other Entanglements,” on StreamOnMax was crafted by filmmaker Irene Taylor, focuses on a unique bonsai—its seeds were sent to Japanese American Juzaburo Furuzawa during his internment under Executive Order 9066 in World War II.
In Japanese culture, pine trees symbolize longevity, virtue, and youth. Furuzawa’s Japanese relatives would have been aware of this when they sent him the seeds, which he sowed in tin cans and nurtured one into a seedling that would become his bonsai. After he was allowed to return home in 1945, Furuzawa grew and trained this bonsai for many years. He went on to become an important San Francisco Bay-area bonsai practitioner and teacher. One of his former students, John Uchida, purchased this Japanese Black Pine from Furuzawa in 1981 and later donated it to Pacific Bonsai Museum.
The Furuzawa Pine gained international attention in February 2020 when it was stolen from the Pacific Bonsai Museum, only to be mysteriously returned less than 72 hours later.