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The art of bonsai at UH Hilo Library

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Date: Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The Mookini Library at the University of Hawaii at Hilo now has a comprehensive resource collection on the art and culture of bonsai. A $2,000 gift from the Big Island Bonsai Association financed the purchase of approximately 50 books on a variety of bonsai-related topics ranging from art and photography to the history of bonsai. More books will be bought until funds are exhausted.

The Jiro Tanaka BIBA Bonsai Book Collection is named after a Waimea BIBA member who suffered extensive damage to his bonsai collection in the October 15, 2006 earthquake. Tanaka donated the proceeds of sales of his re-potted plants plus a collection of books to BIBA, according to James Mimaki, the association’s president. The group, in turn, decided to honor Tanaka’s generosity with the donations to the Mookini Library.

“Our club is very pleased to be able to support the UH Hilo Library in this way,” Mimaki said. “We appreciate how the books will ensure a lasting legacy of knowledge for a new generation of bonsai enthusiasts.”

UH Hilo Public Services Librarian said that BIBA’s gift has allowed the Library to focus on its mission “to preserve and promote our island-wide culture to an extended student and community audience.”

Plans are underway for an informal exhibit of some of the re-potted bonsai plants formerly owned by Tanaka. The UH Hilo Library Lanai will host a display of bonsai and demonstrations by BIBA members on Tuesday, October 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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