Our Founding President
Kofu Bonsai Kai is privileged to have Harry Hirao as its founding president. Harry is a respected bonsai master in the bonsai world and is active in bonsai clubs locally and statewide. He is a nationally known and sought after bonsai master who teaches classes and gives demonstrations throughout California and the United States.
His particular field of expertise in bonsai is the California juniper, and he is fondly referred to as "Mr. California Juniper". Harry teaches his students the art of collecting, as well as styling, caring for, and exhibiting these priceless living bonsai masterpieces. Harry, who celebrated his 90th birthday during 2007 still goes to the sierra mountains weekly through the fall, winter and springtime when it is possible to collect these prized specimen.
Harry Sensei (teacher) has served in many capacities in the Golden State Bonsai Federation and in the California Bonsai Society (the oldest Bonsai Club in the United States). In 1981, he was honored by Prince Takamatsu of Japan with an award of the "Ryoku Hakiju Yukosho" medal and by the Japanese Agricultural Society with a plaque for his contributions to the art of bonsai in the United States. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, U. S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. and has both stones and bonsai on display there.