The Furuzawa Pine

Featured in Trees and Other Entanglements

Connected by our roots. 

Trees and Other Entanglements, an @HBO Original Documentary and deeply human tale of our relationship with the natural world and one another, premieres December 12 on @StreamOnMax.  

Centerpiece of our 2020-21 Exhibition, World War Bonsai: Remembrance & resilience

Through bonsai, finding strength

In Japanese culture, pine trees symbolize strength, resilience, and longevity, so when Juzaburo Furuzawa’s relatives in Japan learned of his incarceration at the Topaz camp in Utah and the Tule Lake Segregation Center in California, they sent him Japanese black pine seeds. He sowed these special seeds in the only container available to him: a tin can. He tended the seeds until they germinated and then he patiently nurtured the young seedling during the three years of his incarceration. When Furuzawa was finally released at age 42, he took his small bonsai with him and continued to care for it into his old age.  

Furuzawa went on to become an important San Francisco Bay Area bonsai practitioner and teacher. One of his former students, John Uchida, purchased this Japanese Black Pine from Furuzawa in 1981. Uchida donated this bonsai to the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection (now Pacific Bonsai Museum) in 1990.

Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii); Date of Origin: 1942;Bonsai Since: 1945; Artist: Juzaburo Furuzawa; Berkeley, CA


World War Bonsai: Remembrance & Resilience

Pacific Bonsai Museum’s special exhibition for 2020 and 2021, World War Bonsai: Remembrance & Resilience, traced the cultural practice of bonsai in location and time—in Japan and in the United States, from the pre-war WWII period, through wartime, amid incarceration, and at peace. With bonsai, artifacts, documents, and photographs, the exhibition shared the little-known stories of the people who ingeniously and courageously cared for bonsai, shared their art, and spurred a flourishing, global practice despite overwhelming hardships.

Video Introduction

Watch a short video introducing the exhibition with Curator’s voiceover.

Film by Bonsai Mirai

Watch a short film featuring Curator Aarin Packard and featured exhibit artist, Erin Shigaki.

Exhibition Documentation

Momiji-en En Bonsai & Garden has kindly documented the whole exhibition for you. Watch on YouTube.

The Furuzawa Family Visit, 2021

Photographs taken on the first day the Furuzawa family met Juzaburo’s bonsai in person at Pacific Bonsai Museum.

Read & Learn

View sample pages and purchase the exhibition catalog.

View a PDF listing suggested sources of further information on topics presented in the World War Bonsai exhibition.

Learn about our World War Bonsai Field Trip curriculum for school kids


BEFRIEND the Furuzawa Pine

When you Befriend a Bonsai, you provide exceptional bonsai care that supports their botanic care and aesthetic advancement as living artworks. This year, you can Befriend the Furuzawa Pine. Learn how here.