For us in India, bonsai does not mean much. We perceive it as something of a hobby which some Indians nurture but in Japan, the birth place of bonsai, this is sacred and a part of day-to-day life.
Thus it comes as no surprise to read about this emotional plea made by Seiji Iimura and his wife Fuyumi, two bonsai enthusiasts, almost a month ago. They have pleaded to the thieves who stole seven trees from them, offering care instructions for their "children".
Trees are worth at least 13m yen ($118,000). One of the couple's stolen trees is a Shimpaku Juniper - one of the most sought-after Bonsai types among collectors and enthusiasts. Shimpaku lived for 400 years, it needs care and can't survive a week without water.
Fellow gardeners and bonsai collectors reached out to the Limuras online to express their sympathy and solidarity. One person wrote on the Facebook plea, “Bonsais are meant to be revered and celebrated and should be beyond human greed. I am heartbroken to read this.”
Well, different strokes for different people.