Owners of Stolen Bonsai Trees Beg Thieves to Please Not Let Them Die


The owners of seven little (but very old) bonsai trees that were stolen from their garden outside Tokyo are begging the thieves to please, please keep them watered. If they’re not taken care of, they will die!! Ugh.

Fuyumi Iimura wrote on Facebook that losing the bonsais that were stolen from her and her husband in January was akin to losing their children. Their rare, serene, ancient children, worth a combined $118,000.

The favorite, objectively best child in this scenario was a shimpaku, which is 400-years-old and worth around $91,000 alone. Understandably, it’s the shimpaku that Iimura is most worried about.

“Our Shimpaku lived for 400 years, it needs care and can’t survive a week without water,” Iimura wrote. “It can live forever, even after we’re gone. I want whoever took it to make sure that it’s properly watered.”

Iimura pointed out that the thieves who took the bonsais were obviously professionals, since they identified the most valuable trees from the couple’s 5,000 hectare park, which is home to around 3,000 bonsais total. Ideally, this means that it’s in their interest to keep the trees alive, since why would anyone go to the trouble of stealing a rare bonsai only to kill it? The trees are often shipped to Europe, and though some victims of bonsai theft have seen their trees pop up later on social media, it’s rare to be able to get them back.

Meanwhile, the grieving couple said they would do their best to stay strong for the rest of their tree-children.

“We are sad and forlorn but we will continue to protect our Bonsai. In the meantime, we will continue cultivating trees worthy of everyone’s praise.”

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