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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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He became a very important force in American bonsai art in the s—60s. He was born a Nisei Japanese-Americanbut at age 8 moved back to yohio parents’ home country, where he extensively studied the art of bonsai due to his grandfather’s influence. Other quotes of his included “Bonsai is not the result: 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.

A few years later, he accepted a Big Island Bonsai Association invitation that included visits to Kona and Waimea na,a clubs and to view collections.

A Tribute to John Yoshio Naka

Ficus salicifolia originally created by Mayna Hutchinson in John had the gift of not only seeing the future of a tree, but also of being able to dramatically capture his vision on paper. In Jim acquired the tree and restyled it.

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. He was an honorary advisor to the National Bonsai Foundation. Photograph by Sage Ross.

Your enjoyment is what is important”; “It must have philosophy, botany, artistry, human quality behind it to be a bonsai”; “The bonsai is not you working on the tree; you have to have the tree work on you”; and “Leave room for the birds to fly through” the branches of your bonsai.

Naka was chosen in as one of thirteen honorees to receive a National Heritage Fellowship[5] the first bonsai artist to receive this prestigious award.

John Yoshio Naka

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. The last page states that one definition of bonsai can be proved photographically by cropping the pot out of the picture and what is left should be the “illusion of full scale reality” and used to judge exellence. It doesn’t take very long once someone becomes interested in bonsai before they hear of the late John Naka.


Inspired by a forest of Cryptomeria japonica near a shrine in Japan, Naka first combined the four trees he had already developed into a single, 4-foot-tall 1. As always at AoB, the owner of the pictures retains all copyrights and will receive full credit for them.

The bonsai died last year due to hurricane damage. So at the formal presentation, ylshio set the styling and supervised three teams to train three trees!


naja We mean this to be a dynamic gallery in which those who view it can add any content yoshoi they may have by John Naka, be it scans of his drawings, photographs of his bonsai, or photographs of John himself, simply by toshio them, with your name and a brief history of the drawing or drawings, to will artofbonsai. In Orange County, Naka and four friends founded a bonsai club in November ofwhich is known today as the California Bonsai Society.

Naka traveled and taught extensively around the world, at conventions and clubs, but refused to hold yoshil in Japan where bonsai had been highly developed along certain lines over the centuriessaying “They want me to teach, and I tell them it’s like trying to preach to Buddha. He returned to the United States near Boulder, Colorado in ; eventually settling in Los Angeles, California with his wife Alice and their three sons in At the International Bonsai Congress, he refined and set a long-term training strategy for the same three trees and supervised the potting into unique handmade pots created especially for them by Japan’s master potter Akiji Kataoka of Tokoname’s Yamaaki kiln.

John Naka – Wikipedia

InGoshin was displayed at the Philadelphia Flower Show where it was viewed by nearlypeople. These books would later be translated into French, German, Italian and Spanish. Scan of drawing submitted by Mike Page. A drawing of Mike Page’s California Juniper done at a workshop. He contributed articles, forewords, and photographs to a number of specialty magazines and books.

Mike still has the tree and greatly values the drawing. Archived from the original on Goshin first took shape as a forest planting around The crest in the background is John Naka’s family crest that he gave a framed copy in gold foil to his disciple students.


He set the highest standards of unselfish sharing and the pure love of bonsai for all who follow. Ficus salicifolia that was created by Jim in A very few of his many accomplishments are the following: In Orange CountyNaka and four friends founded a bonsai club in November,which is known today as the California Bonsai Society. At the time he received his Fellowship, he said, “It has a beginning but no end.

We yosuio 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. The title refers to the little recognized fact that, yes, even bonsai masters can make a mistake. Ours was just one of countless honors. Retrieved 28 November John Yoshio Naka was a unique individual who set high standards for nakka of us to try to follow.

Archived from the original PDF on AoB usually includes a brief bio of the featured artist at this point, in this case we hohn decided to forgo the bio, as there is no way we can do justice to this great man by adding anything that would surpass that which already has been done.

John gave Patrick permission to use his image and the print was copyrighted.

Naka donated it to the National Bonsai Foundation in for display at the United States National Arboretum and it has been nska ever since. Of Naka’s many works, the most recognizable composition is Goshinwhich means “protector of the spirit. Although he had considerable bonsai knowledge and skills, they were far exceeded yoshjo his love of bonsai and of bonsai people and we’ll all miss him!

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing John for thirty years and we’ve had many opportunities to work together. TwistedSifter The Best of the visual Web, sifted, sorted and summarized.

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