Taking care of plants is a tedious job. It does need not only meticulous day-to-day attention but also tender affection and passion towards the plants. But not all plants are the same; there are those that are harder to take care of than others – case in point: a bonsai. That is why we cannot blame bonsai caretakers if they consider their plants as their children and no one can explain the love that they have for their miniature trees… especially if they are 400 years old.
Last Monday, a distressed Seiji Iimura and his wife Fuyumi took to social media to the thieves who stole their 400-year-old bonsai from their collection.according to the couple the prized miniature trees were taken from their garden in Saitama, near Tokyo.
“There are no words to describe how we feel,” Mr. Iimura wrote. “They were precious [to us].”
The stolen bonsai trees are worth at least 13 million yen which is about $118,000, a CNN report reveals.
“Stemming from East Asia and often associated with Japan, Bonsai is a delicate art-form based on specialist cultivation techniques.” BBC wrote.
“The miniature plants are grown in containers. They require expert care and mimic the shape of full-sized trees.”
One of the stolen bonsai trees is a Shimpaku Juniper, a world-class and famous Bonsai type and was sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts. It is said to be worth over 10 million yen ($91,000).
“The Shimpaku lived for 400 years, it needs care and can’t survive a week without water,” Mrs. Iimura told CNN.
“It can live forever, even after we’re gone. I want whoever took it to make sure that it’s properly watered.”
The couple confirmed that until now, the bonsai trees are still missing.
“We are sad and forlorn, but we will continue to protect our Bonsai” Mrs. Iimura wrote on Facebook. “In the meantime, we will continue cultivating trees worthy of everyone’s praise.”
Many enthusiasts and fellow gardeners have reached out to the couple via social media to express their sympathy and support.
“Unforgivable,” one commented on her post. “These thieves do not know what it means to steal a bonsai, let alone seven. All the tender loving care goes with the theft.”
“Bonsais are meant to be revered and celebrated and should be beyond human greed. I am heartbroken to read this,” wrote another. /apr