Happy Ending

After posting about stolen trees yesterday, I read this today on Facebook today. John Romano in the States had a stunning little Juniper stolen and now returned. It has a great story to it and the words are very touching indeed. I’m not sure I could have been so forgiving but, in the end of the day, tree and caring owner are reunited. Here’s the photos and text from Facebook, well worth sharing as a positive story.

To all my bnsai friends -my most beloved and valuable shohin bonsai was stolen today from the nursery where I was teaching my Kaikou Bonsai School students. Mr. Urushibata helped me buy it back in 2007 when I was at Taisho en and Mario Komsta kindly wired it out for me (and then again tweaked it at my home when he visited a few years later). It was grown by a older bonsai grower from a cutting 30+ years ago and owned by him all that time until he graciously sold it to me. I am heartbroken – it has been my friend and I have nurtured it for the short time I have had it. If anyone sees it and can directly help me retrieve it, I will compensate them $500. You can contact me or New England Bonsai Gardens.


It’s been a stressful 24 hours but I want all my friends in bonsai to know that my tree was recovered this afternoon!! It is a long story (one friend said I should have made a Youtube Law and Order video!) that I won’t share all the details of here. The suspect actually brazenly returned to the scene of the crime today!?! and I confronted him and spoke from my heart about how hurt and upset I was, etc. He denied it profusely but eventually was influenced by my honest heartfelt love of this tree and sadness at its loss. I think he acted on an impulsive desire to own something beautiful that he didn’t already have. He gave it back to me and I did not press charges – I just wanted it returned. It made me reflect on the Buddhist idea of impermanence of all things and non attachment. It can be hard especially when you feel violated and something is taken from you in that way. Anyway, the story has many other details that I can share when I see some of you. I sincerely thank you all for your support, prayers, thoughts and offers of additional reward! I sincerely mean this when I say ‘Peace in Bonsai’ as it reflects what John Naka and Mr. Kato so often championed. We love bonsai as an expression of our love of nature, the earth and each other. Thanks again.

3 comments on “Happy Ending

  1. A very heart-warming end; if only they all had such positive outcomes? If only they weren’t stolen in the first place.

    I suppose to some it’s just a tree, a nice plant in a nice pot. To others a potential ‘cash-cow’ – but without its providence and history the monetary value and saleability is virtually zero.

    With modern social media these works of art will always be recognised by somebody. Hopefully the others will also have a similarly positive outcome.

    I don’t know about the rest of Europe but in Britain I imagine the police will not consider these thefts serious crimes? I imagine they will be listed as ‘stolen garden plants’ and a crime reference number issued for insurance claims.

    They should be considered for what they are; a priceless, irreplaceable work of art, that has taken a lifetime of dedication to achieve?

    That’s this weeks painful, profound and ponderous pap out of the way. Where’s those paracetamol… I’m off for a lay down in a darkened room.


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