Waimea Bon-yu Kai Bonsai Club exhibition coming in May

  • Ohi’a Lehua Bonsai (courtesy photo/ Nancy Male).

  • Waimea Bonsai Club logo; The design represents the 3-point rule in Bonsai. From top left to right, the symbols represent Heaven (spiritual), Earth (nature) and Humanity (man/woman). The triangle connects them all, and is used in Bonsai as a means to balance the composition. (courtesy image/ Waimea Bonsai Club)

Waimea Bon-yu Kai Bonsai Club (which translated literally means “Bonsai Friendship Club”) has begun to settle back into its normal operations. Last year, after a 3 year hiatus, they were able to hold a small exhibition at the Waimea Community Center (Route 19, next to Waimea Park). This year it will be a little larger. Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28, 2023, 9a.m. to 4p.m.

Waimea Bon-yu Kai was organized in 1956 by Manzo Mitsunami and Herbert Ishizu, fostered by Yutaka Kimura and Isami Ishihara, and currently operated by dedicated members. The Club meets every 4th Sunday at 1p.m. with the exception of two months — the month of the Annual Memorial Day Weekend Show and December. The emphasis of the meetings is helping each other work on and improve their personal collections of Bonsai.


Once a year, the Bonsai beg to be displayed and appreciate the attention. The Club may be asked to set up Bonsai shows elsewhere on-island during the year. Annually, it is proud to be an active participant in the Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival (which returned in February 2023).

At the exhibition Club members will display their Bonsai, talk story with attendees, and share refreshments. Magazines and books will be available to look at. This year, by popular demand, we will have a table set up to do short Bonsai demonstrations. There will also be another table to display some “not quite ready” bonsai; hopefully, this will encourage participation from our newer members. The event is free. The plants are not for sale.

Due to COVID the club and members’ Bonsai suffered. Membership has started to grow again, and there should be more participation in this year’s show. The goal is to present a large variety of Bonsai. Expect to see a large variety of tree and plant species – juniper, ohia, bougainvillea, Surinam cherry, jaboticaba, and banyan are but a few. These are common to the Big Island landscapes. Some are endemic.

The club members strive to bring endemic plants into their collections. Bonsai is an artistic example of a natural tree in miniature form. It lives outdoors in small containers,nurtured by both Mother Nature and its caretaker. It is essentially a work of art and is produced throughv expert care and manipulation of natural plant material.

Bonsai is a living artform. There are so many sub-climates on this island. It is important to know what plants will thrive in what area. A plant that thrives in Kona or Hilo, will not necessarily thrive in Waimea. The soil used, fertilizers, watering, trimming,shaping,

potting/repotting are topics that need to be addressed.

Waimea Bon-yu Kai Bonsai Club hopes to see you at the show!