Bonsai Tonight

Bonsai apprentices online

Posted in Excursions by Jonas Dupuich on June 7, 2011

Like many bonsai enthusiasts, I’ve long dreamed about studying bonsai in Japan in a formal apprenticeship. After hearing tales from Kathy Shaner, Boon Manakitivipart, and Michael Hagedorn, I’m both excited by, and somewhat afraid of, all that the experience entails.

Recently three more bonsai students began apprenticeships in Japan: Tim Gardner, Peter Tea, and Tyler Sherrod. Tim is studying with Toru Suzuki at Daiju-en in Okazaki. Toshinori Sukuki, Tohru’s father, trained Yasuo Mitsuya, Kathy’s teacher, and Kihachiro Kamiya, Boon’s teacher.

Peter is studying with Junichiro Tanaka, owner of Aichien Bonsai Nursery in Nagoya. Tanaka studied bonsai with Tohru Suzuki.

Tyler is studying bonsai with Shinji Suzuki in Obuse, near Nagano. Michael Hagedorn studied bonsai with Shinji Suzuki, and Matt Reel continues to study with Suzuki. Shinji Suzuki studied with Motosuke Hamano, Masahiko Kimura’s teacher.

Somehow, Peter Tea has found time to write about his adventures and share them online. His blog is among my favorite bonsai sites as it contains great photos and excellent advice on bonsai training and care. Here are some photos from Peter’s Aichien Journal (photos by Peter Tea):


Japanese black pine


Japanese five needle pine


Japanese maple

Peter, Tim, and Tyler – I wish you all the best of luck. Ganbatte!

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5 Responses

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  1. John said, on June 8, 2011 at 5:27 am

    I can’t wait for the “boys” to get back. Having met all of them, I have known Peter for 6 years or so, through Boon, BIB and the intensives, it will be fun to see how they transform over time. A bunch of quality folks working/studying with very top notch people in Japan. It is good for Bonsai.

  2. Tim Gardner said, on June 10, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Jonas, thank you the post, and the support!

    Tim Gardner

  3. Edward said, on July 19, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Wow this looks great! I am kind of frustrated as I live in 名古屋, but for the life of me cannot find the address to the nursery.

    I would lov e to know where it is so i could go and see it in person.

  4. xwires said, on July 20, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Hi Edward, I’d try following up with Tim or Peter directly – they might be able to help with the directions.

  5. Janet Roth said, on July 21, 2011 at 7:45 am

    @Edward, the address of the nursery is (sorry, all Romaji…):

    Marugome 2-75

    Nakagawa-ku is in southern part of the city (just west of Minami-ku). I believe it’s open to the public (other folks came while we were there, and we didn’t have an exact appointment time or anything when we visited).

    Go to Peter’s blog ( and you can find contact information for him.

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