With roots in a Fukumoto family hobby begun in 1962, it became Hawaii's first certified export nursery in 1973, and evolved into a corporation in 1985 to own and operate both the 12-acre Kurtistown nursery and a 17-acre Kona Fuku-Bonsai Center as a major visitor attraction in the then developing Kona-Kohala visitor destination area. The center had a soft opening in 1990 and a formal grand opening in 1992. It was an artistic success but a financial disaster resulting in a 25-year long battle for survival.
The early years saw David Fukumoto as an early English speaking bonsai instructor, co-founder of bonsai clubs and the umbrella non-profit Hawaii Bonsai Association (HBA) and as the youngest behind-the-scenes supporter of a Hawaiian bonsai renaissance that evolved into Hawaii playing a major role in creating "international bonsai." The effort was lead by the Hawaii's World War II "Greatest Generation" in support of the leadership of Saburo Kato of Japan.
Japan's 1979 World Bonsai Convention was followed by Hawaii's landmark 1980 International Bonsai Congress (IBC) co-sponsored by HBA, Bonsai Clubs International, American Bonsai Society, and included the first international participation by Nippon (Japan) Bonsai Association. The effort culminated in the formation of the World Bonsai Friendship Federation in 1989 in Omiya, Japan and was followed by the IBC 1990 Hawaii. Having played a major support role in that 10-year period, at IBC 90 Hawaii, Fuku-Bonsai International Honor Roll plaques were presented to Saburo Kato (Japan), Haruo "Papa" Kaneshiro (Hawaii), John Naka (California), Yee-sun Wu (Hong Kong), Akiji Kataoka (Japan), and Ted Tsukiyama (Hawaii).
Unfortunately in 1989, Fuku-Bonsai sprayed defective Benlate contaminated with weed killers that caused over $30 million of losses eventually including the Kona Fuku-Bonsai Center. Besides loss of extensive aged inventory, residual contamination required creating all new crops and a new business model. The net proceeds of the 1994 Benlate product liability and the 2007 DuPont fraud settlements totaled less than 10% of our losses after taxes and legal costs. But with the support of the community and several grants we survived and began rebuilding.
By 2011 we were ready to start expansion but were blocked by the economic disaster and recession that followed "9-11". In 2013, Fuku-Bonsai formally partnered with Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation to co-sponsor the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center & Hawaii State Bonsai Repository as a visitor attraction, to co-publish the monthly email Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai, and to enlarge educational workshops and activities. A major computer crash in November 2014 temporarily ended the Journal, but there's renewed commitment, major computer and website improvements, and progress again. Stay tuned!
SELECTED SIGNIFICANT FUKU-BONSAI ARTICLES
|www.fukubonsai.com/1a.html||Our Bonsai Mission & Philosophy|
|www.fukubonsai.com/1a2.html||The Challenge of Bonsai|
|www.fukubonsai.com/1a2a.html||BONSAI NO KOKORO by Ted T. Tsukiyama|
|www.fukubonsai.com/1a2e.html||Visiting Fuku-Bonsai Kurtistown (2005?)|
|www.fukubonsai.com/1a2f.html||Kurtistown/Fuku-Bonsai growth report (2008)|
|www.fukubonsai.com/1a3a.html||Fuku-Bonsai Begins a New Era! 2010-2011|
|www.fukubonsai.com/1a8.html||History of Achievements & Accomplishments|
|www.fukubonsai.com/2a5.html||Develolping True Indoor Bonsai|
|www.fukubonsai.com/2b1a.html||Fuku-Bonsai's Daruma Philosophy|
|www.fukubonsai.com/3b1.html||The Search for the Bonsai Educational Holy Grail|