About The North American Bonsai Federation

Dear Friends in North America

Greetings from the North American Bonsai Federation (NABF), created by John Y. Naka as a vital link to bring together bonsai and related-arts enthusiasts in North America (Canada and United States) and represent the North American Region of the World Bonsai Friendship Federation (WBFF). Since its founding in 1989, NABF has been a cornerstone of WBFF, hosting 2 World Bonsai Conventions in North America (Orlando in 1993 and Washington, DC in 2005) and carrying out WBFF's noble mission of fostering peace, friendship and goodwill in the world through bonsai and the related arts.

NABF's membership is no longer limited to bonsai and suiseki associations, societies or clubs, but is now also open to all individuals within North America (Canada and United States) who share the love for bonsai and related arts and who support NABF's purposes. There is no fee for membership. You may register your membership simply by completing the form on this website or by emailing your contact information to NABF Secretary, Tom De Simone, thomasrose@verizon.net

The Seventh World Bonsai Friendship Federation Convention was held in Jintan, China in September 2013. The NABF selected nine outstanding artists from North American to participate in that Convention. If you would like to see a slide show on the event, ..... just click this link.

The Executive Committee of NABF welcomes you to this reformatted NABF website and invites you to surf and get acquainted with the pages. It is a new site and your input will be appreciated. We very much encourage you to read the true meaning of our art by enjoying the words written below by NABF President Emeritus Felix Laughlin.

Solita D.T.Rosade
President NABF  

Welcome to the NABF Website

When Saburo Kato, John Naka, Ted Tsukiyama and others founded the World Bonsai Friendship Federation (WBFF) in 1989, they did so with the firm belief that bonsai has a special power to bring together people with open hearts and generous spirits. As Saburo Kato said in his famous "Candle of Peace" essay: "From bonsai we receive peace of mind, health and a life's pursuit. We can also learn generosity, patience and even philosophy about life. We can also have the good fortune to make friends of all nationalities and races with whom we share a mutual trust and respect. This is all thanks to bonsai."

Why does bonsai have this special power? As John Naka often said, bonsai is the only living art form. As a living art, bonsai requires our devotion as well as our artistic skill. Such devotion, much more than artistic talent, opens up our hearts and bestows on the bonsai practitioner an awareness of our responsibilities to other human beings and to Mother Nature herself. The wonder we felt when first introduced to bonsai is replaced with a deeper and more constant reverence for our natural world.

We do not bring life to bonsai -- it brings life to us. The painter can bring "life" to a blank canvas; the sculptor can bring "life" to a block of marble. But we do not bring life to bonsai -- it is already present. By cultivating this life to the best of our abilities, we discover, in Saburo Kato's words, "the essence and dignity of life" and thus feel more a part of our natural environment. We tread more lightly on this earth and become more gentle with all living things.

For bonsai teaches us to understand a new language -- the language of nature itself. We learn to listen and to hear what nature can tell us. We begin to feel the rays of the morning sun as would a leaf on a branch; we can taste an afternoon shower as would a tree in the forest. As we share our love of bonsai with others who also wish to understand what nature is telling us, the bonds of friendship expand. As Ted Tsukiyama has observed: "Those who love bonsai find themselves drawn and bound together in a great mutual understanding, tolerance and friendship."

NABF's mission is to support and strengthen the North American bonsai community. On this website, we will offer tributes to those masters who built the foundation of the bonsai world we enjoy today, we will highlight friendships stimulated by a love of bonsai, and we will address the education of the next generation of bonsai enthusiasts.

Felix Laughlin,
NABF President Emeritus

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North American Bonsai Federation  
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