If the Japanese bonsai thieves are reading this, we have just one demand: Please, please, please water the trees once a week. Also, return them. Please.
Last month, fifth-generation bonsai cultivator Seiji Iimura and his wife Fuyumi made a devastating police report: Over multiple nights, a heartless thief snuck into their garden and stole seven of their bonsai trees. On her Facebook profile, which is replete with posts and photos of bonsai trees, Fuyumi wrote of the incident, “I am filled with sadness and heartache.”
Though police have not released any details about the suspect, the thief clearly knows their way around a bonsai garden. Of the seven trees they stole from the garden of 3,000 bonsai, one was a prized 400-year-old, 33-inch-tall shimpaku juniper valued around $54,000 — that’s more than $1,600 per inch. In total, the thieves got away with more than $90,000 worth of trees.
But to the Iimuras, the trees are so much more than ancient, valuable possessions — they’re family.
“They are our children who have been living for 400 years,” Fuyumi told the New York Times. “I now feel like our limbs were taken away, and miss them every day.”
Therefore, while the Iimura’s are begging the kidnappers to return their kids, more than anything, they care about their safety. To the thieves, they have one heartbreaking request: to keep their bonsai trees healthy.
“The shimpaku lived for 400 years. It needs care and can’t survive a week without water,” Fuyumi told CNN. “It can live forever, even after we’re gone. I want whoever took it to make sure that it’s properly watered.”