John Naka is well known throughout the Bonsai community across the globe. His books and writings reveals knowledge from basic to advance for enthusiast to. More by John Yoshio Naka. Bonsai Techniques One. John Yoshio Naka. Bonsai Techniques II. John Yoshio Naka. Top of Page. My Account · Billing · Shipping. The Bonsai Clubs International’s BONSAI MAGAZINE; September-October ; Volume 42, Number 5 honored America’s premier master bonsai teacher John.

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From the collection of Jim Smith, this sketch is of a Ficus salicifolia that was created by Jim in Photograph by Mike Page. The three trees have been developing under the care of Fuku-Bonsai curator Michael Imaino and received extensive training including major root management in the past year to improve the health of the trees. His books “Bonsai Techniques I and II” are likely the most recommended books in the art, not only to beginners but also to the more advanced artists that somehow missed reading them.

We offer this trilogy as a testimonial to the artistic genius of John Naka. In Jim acquired the tree and restyled it.

This Bonsai Master’s Greatest Work of Art is a Loving Tribute to his Grandkids «TwistedSifter

Jim restyled it last year completely different. John gave Patrick permission to use his image and the print was copyrighted.

Naka traveled and taught extensively around the world, at conventions and clubs, but refused to hold classes in Japan where bonsai had been highly developed along certain lines over the centuriesjohhn “They want me to teach, and I tell them it’s like trying to preach to Buddha. He was born a Nisei Japanese-Americanbut at age 8 moved back to his parents’ home country, where he extensively studied the art of bonsai due to his grandfather’s influence.

John Yoshio Naka

With a heavy heart I learned of John’s passing on May 19, Next to John’s bonsai, his drawings and sketches speak the loudest of his obvious talent and his great love of trees. In John spent a weekend with Jim’s Study Group, Jim asked him to make a sketch of this bonsai in a new style, he did, but Jim never made the change. He joined others in supporting and promoting bonsai as a bridge to international friendship and peace.


A few years later, he accepted a Big Island Bonsai Association invitation that included visits to Kona and Waimea bonsai clubs and to view collections. Eastman Kodak’s Applied Photography Magazine.

The Art of Bonsai Project – Feature Gallery: A Tribute to John Yoshio Naka

AoB only requests permission to use them in this gallery. In Orange County, Naka and four friends founded a bonsai club in November ofwhich is known today as the California Bonsai Society.

InGoshin was displayed at the Philadelphia Flower Show where it was viewed by nearlypeople. It is a forest planting of eleven Foemina junipers Juniperus chinensisthe earliest of which Naka began training into bonsai in He was an honorary advisor to the National Bonsai Foundation and was chosen in as one of thirteen honorees to receive a National Heritage Fellowship, the first bonsai artist to receive the prestigious award.

A second generation Japanese-American, he moved back to Japan at the age of 8 where he studied Bonsai extensively under the influence of his grandfather.

This extraordinary generation helped bonsai to survive the traumas of World War II, nurtured its regrowth, and dedicated it as a vehicle for international friendship and peace. SinceGoshin has repeatedly graced the covers of prominent yoshuo magazines.

We first met at the National Bonsai Convention in Pasadena where I saw “Goshin,” his masterwork featuring an American forest with bleached jins that validly interpreted California’s redwood forests. At each location, he unexpectedly improvised and initiated presentations.

Retrieved 28 November This 6 page yoshoi featuring John Naka appeared in issue 41, He set the highest standards of unselfish sharing and the pure love of bonsai for all who follow. Naka began working with the first two of the eleven trees that would ultimately make up Goshin in The bonsai world’s universal admiration galvanized and created the John Naka American Bonsai Pavillion that became the centerpiece and the catalyst that is now the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the National Arboretum in Washington D.


Without exception, he was always the gracious statesman.

Copyright The Art of Bonsai Project. Other quotes of his included “Bonsai is not the result: Couple those gifts with his ability to transform these ideas into actual living, artistic bonsai, and you have the stuff legends are made of.

In the years that followed, John’s skills, activities, and fame grew as he developed into an influential leader and traveled throughout the world sharing both the technical and philosophical aspects of bonsai. Originally conceived as three separate galleries sorted by drawings, bonsai, and photographs of John, we later decided not to divide or classify the submitted photographs into different galleries, but instead to offer them together, in a single gallery as an in depth exploration into his genius.

From the collection of Jim Smith, this sketch is one of the many drawings of bonsai that John made of the members bonsai at Jim’s study group in I am sure we will all agree that the results of this experiement shows excellence and as such reintroduces us to a method of photographing bonsai that we would do well to try and duplicate today. He was awarded a Pacific Pioneer Award posthumously. He was an honorary advisor to the National Bonsai Foundation. The method of overlaying Naka’s bonsai creations onto stylized backgrounds using both imaginary creations and actual photographs, gave a dramatic effect that is rare in today’s presentations.

Photograph submitted by Ed Trout.

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