In 1977, a nucleus of bonsai enthusiasts under the leadership of Larry Ragle and Harry Hirao, master bonsai teacher and celebrated demonstrator and collector of bonsai, joined together in forming Kofu Bonsai Kai in Orange County. Harry was able to bring other Japanese and American bonsai masters to Orange County to share their expertise with interested students to give demonstrations, workshops and programs to the members of the new club thus furthering their interest in bonsai. Since its origin in 1977, Kofu Bonsai Kai has rapidly become one of the top ranking bonsai clubs in California. Today, the club lists well over 200 active members who participate in the many activities of the club.
Kofu Bonsai Kai offers monthly educational meetings presented by noteworthy bonsai lecturers and demonstrators. At each monthly meeting, bonsai plants and pots are included in benefit drawings which frequently feature the demonstration tree. The benefit drawings fund the many programs provided by the club. Visits to bonsai exhibitions,
field trips, and tree collecting parties are scheduled throughout the year. In addition,
the club holds several bonsai exhibitions annually including the Bowers Museum
and the Fullerton Arboretum to further the art of bonsai in Orange County. Our
monthly newsletter is mailed to paid members and keeps them informed of
club activities as well as other notable bonsai activities throughout the State.
Our club is a member of the Golden State Bonsai Federation which is an
organization of over 70 clubs throughout California. Many of our members
are also members of the California Bonsai Society, one of the oldest bonsai
organizations in the United States. Our members have served on the Boards
of Directors of various organizations and continue to participate in
programs, give demonstrations, attend state conventions, and maintain close
fraternal and social relationships with other bonsai clubs.