Rainbow Bonsai Club



     Sensei Keith hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin; however the Islands have forever claimed his heart.  Hawaii has been home since his retirement from the Marine Corps in 1997. 

     Although bonsai weaved its spell on Keith during his teen years, it wasn’t until his deployment to Japan that sealed his love of the “little trees in pots.”  In 1980, formal instruction commenced under Sensei Miyata. And, more than a decade later (1994), extensive training continued under the dual tutelage of Hawaii Bonsai Master Ed Nakanishi and California Master Kenji Miyata. Through convention workshops under bonsai greats—John Naka, Ben Oki, etc.--advanced training resulted.  Exposure to Japan gardens of Daizo Iwasaki and Saburo Kato, and their secrets that win at Kokofu ten, has given Keith insights among bonsai elitists that he willingly shares with fellow bonsai-ists.    

     Unlike many Senseis who gravitate toward one or two plant species, Keith enjoys variety in his garden. He admits that the pine specie gives him his greatest challenges.  When asked about his oldest bonsai, Keith believes it may be an Ironwood survived from WWII.

     Keith’s natural leadership qualities won him the presidential position in Hawaii Bonsai Association (2 terms) and Pearl City Bonsai Club since 2003. Keith was also asked to serve as Advisor and was subsequently voted V P of the Rainbow Bonsai Club, and was past advisor to Paradise Bonsai Club.  Keith also chaired HBA’s Education Committee (several years).

     Master Sensei Ed Nakanishi encouraged his students to perpetuate the Art of Bonsai, and in his year of passing (2010), Keith rose to that challenge.  He honored his Sensei and co-established the Bonsai Foundation Clinic.  Rave reviews highlight Keith’s abilities from the breadth of foundational knowledge to the depth of advanced levels of expertise, all with respect toward bonsai and bonsai lovers. Basic and advanced classes are supported by free monthly workshops, that build confidence, knowledge and hands-on practice.

    Keith’s generosity to share and teach bonsai becomes apparent as seen in many demonstrations at numerous places, including in Texas with Sensei Miyata, Golden State BF (bougainvillea), BCI Hawaii Convention (2000), Valley Isle B. Club (Maui), Home Depot, Hawaii Bonsai Association ABC’s Classes, Pearl City B. Club, Rainbow B. Club, Classic B. Club, Pacific B.  Club, Tokai University, University of Hawaii, Hui O Laulima Senior Citizen’s Group, and Kanoelani Elementary School.  Demos at several locations listed repeat yearly.  

     Other interests include cooking and showing his refurbished Jaguar at car shows. 

Personal qualities reveal a sunny disposition and an engaging and “go-for” philosophy; much gets done when Keith is around. And, he does it with fun and enthusiasm. (Feb. 2013)

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