HISTORY OF THE BONSAI STUDY GROUP - THE INDO-JAPANESE ASSOCIATION

Co-founded by Jyoti and Nikunj Parekh
1979
Bonsai study group of Indo Japanese Association was inaugurated by Madam Horino with Jyoti and Nikunj Parekh as co- founders.

1981
1st Bonsai week in Mumbai with Mr John Naka of USA.

1982
1st Telecast of film on Bonsai lent by Jyoti & Nikunj. A bonsai study tour by members to Japan and USA.

1984
2nd Bonsai week with Mr Tom Yamamoto of Japan across India.

1985
Bonsai Exhibition and NICHIN BONSAI magazine publication released.

1987
3rd Bonsai Week with Mr Chase Rosade of USA across India.

1988
Bonsai & Saikei exhibition at Wilson college. Affilliation as chapter hobbyists granted to Indore and Madhya Pradesh.

1989
Bonsai study tour to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand with visit to 2nd World Bonsai Exhibition & Convention in Japan.

1990
Cema Bonsai Garden, India’s first Bonsai garden opened for public viewing at Kamla Nehru Park. 4th Bonsai Fortnight inaugurated by Consul General of Japan Mr. Mutoh. Demonstrations and Workshops conducted by Mr. Tom Yamamoto and Mr Susumu Nakamura of Japan with assistance from Mr. & Mrs. Parekh in Bombay.

1991
All India Bonsai & Saikei Exhibition & Convention held at Birla Kreeda Kendra, Mumbai. Attended by 280 delegates. More than 20,000 people visit the exhibition.

1992
A year of consolidation planned. An exhibition-cum-sale of Bonsai by Bonsai Study Group members to raise funds for the group.

1993
Mr. Peter Chan of U.K. conducted Workshop & Demonstration at the South Asia Bonsai Convention & Exhibition 1993. Mr. Khorakiwala, Sheriff of Mumbai, inaugurated the function.

1994
Bonsai & Sumi-e workshops, demonstrations were held at an exhibition at Lifestyle and Culture Events 1994, in co-operation with the city of Yokohama. It was inaugurated by Consul General of Japan Mr. Suzuki, Mrs. Suzuki and Ms. Hema Malini. Susumu and Haruo Nakamura of Japan conducted the Bonsai events and Mr. Niki Aida and Ms. Mariko Otsuka conducted the Sumi-e, black ink brush painting events.

1995
Consolidation of Bonsai Study Group activities.

1996
Bonsai expert, Mr. Budi. S. Darmono of Indonesia, gave demonstrations in Mumbai and Coimbatore.

1997
Japan 3-D, Harmony in Living, exhibition of miniature trees by our group members with an exhibition of Art Bonsai and Art Flowers with workshop by Ms. Okabe and Ms. Orita of Japan, was held from 1st to 4th February.

1998
Bonsai Study Group arranged a 5-day workshop - cum - demonstration on Bonsai by Mr. Budi Sulistyo of Indonesia in Mumbai from 5th to 9th October. Successful Bonsai Exhibition at Utpal Shanghavi School was organised in November, with enthusiastic response from the suburban members.

1999
The Bonsai Study Group celebrated its 20th Anniversary by arranging its 10th Bonsai Week at Mumbai, a week-long demonstration & workshop on Bonsai by Tropical Bonsai expert Mr. Pedro Morales from Puerto Rico, USA. It was attended by eighty Bonsai enthusiasts from Mumbai and all over India. The “JYOTI & NIKUNJ PAREKH, BONSAI - LIVING ART FUND” and South Asia Bonsai Photo Contest were created to honour the co-founders of the Bonsai Study Group.

2000
The New Millennium began with the BONSAI ‘2000 exhibition of Bonsai from 17th to 20th March. With more than 400 preselected creations of nearly 70 of Bonsai Study Group members at the Catering College, Dadar, Mumbai. This event was sponsored by VIDEOCON.

2001
Lecture - Demonstrations & Workshops by Taiwanese Bonsai Master Chiang were held on 5-6-7 March. Study Group chapters at Goa and Mysore formed in the months of March and August.

2002
Bonsai exhibition held on 9-10 February with the co-operation of Archana Trust at G. D. Somani School Grounds, Mumbai. Another chapter at Panjim, Goa formed in April. Affiliation granted to Lucknow Chapter. BFFI in co-ordination with like minded groups and hobbyists arranged a correction workshop on Bonsai by Robert Steven of Indonesia at Coimbatore & Mumbai. A large number of Study Group members and affiliated chapters participated. This was followed by a workshop & demo on “Land and Water Penjing” by World renowned artist Mr. Zhao Qingquan, China.

2003
Workshop and demonstrations on Bonsai were arranged by BFFI, the apex body of Bonsai growers in India with Mr. Budi Sulistyo & Ms. Sue Aziz of Indonesia at Mumbai, Indore & Bhopal. A large number of members and Bonsai hobbyists took part in the events. Members displayed their Suihan Penjing (Water and Stone Landscapes) on marble tray at an exhibition on 26th-27th February in Mumbai.

2004
In January, an exhibition of Bonsai at General Motors showroom at Jogeshwari was organized. In February, a display of Bonsai at Friends of the Trees, VJTI, Matunga, Mumbai was held. In March, Bonsai were displayed at Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly, Prince of Wales Museum) in downtown Mumbai.

Entering the 25th year, the Bonsai Study Group along with the parent body, Indo Japanese Association, which entered 50th year, reaffirmed its aim to share knowledge on the art of miniaturising trees.

Bonsai Study Group of Indo-Japanese Association with its headquarters at Mumbai and chapters all over India, being the largest of such groups, aims to promote better knowledge and appreciation of the art of miniaturising of trees amongst the people of India. Workshops, lecture-demonstrations, audio-visual shows, library facilities, holding of conventions and exhibitions, publication of magazines and Botanical excursions etc. are carried out with a view to encourage the growing interest of the people in South Asia towards this art. This work has received National and International recognition. Alongside these activities, the group and its members have generously contributed and aided charities associated with helping Riot victims and Earthquake victims at Latur in Maharashtra and Gujarat and have also rendered assistance to the physically handicapped.

2005
25th year celebrations finale with Bonsai events by Mr. Rob Kempkinski of USA at Mumbai & Hyderabad & Mr. M.H.Lo of Taiwan at Mumbai & Pune.

2006
Bonsai display at “Friends of The Trees” was arranged at VJTI in February.

NATURE IN MINIATURE 2006, an exhibition of mini trees, forests, dry tray gardens, Saikei, Suihan Penjing amidst special display areas proved to be successful. The combination of ideas, co-operation and sponsorship support of HINDALCO, worked miracles. The exhibition was held at the prangan of Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi, Mumbai. The inauguration was done by Hon. Minister of PWD Maharastra Shri Anil Deshmukh. Smt Rajashree Birla released the Directory of Bonsai and Swamiji from Mysore graced the occasion with Consul General of Japan as Guest of Honour.

BCI 2006 and Chencun International Penjing & Shangshi Exposition, China held in April. Was attended by many of the Mumbai and other chapter members.

Bonsai Art Group, Meerut, U.P. becomes our affiliated Chapter. The Group members displayed Bonsai at I.I.T., Powai in November.

2007

Bonsai Study Group of Indo Japanese Association, Bonsai Friendship Federation of India joined hands and sought blessings of Swamiji Ganapathy Sachchidanand of Mysore and organized an All India Bonsai Convention in Mysore on the 24th, 25th & 26th November 2007. The three-day event had more than 325 delegates from across India who brought 300 live Bonsai and another 200 bonsai photographs for display. We had Mr. I. C. Su his wife Helen, Mr. Min Hsuan Lo from Taiwan, Mr. Budi Sulistyo from Indonesia, Mr. Chase Rosade, Mrs. Solita Tafur Rosade, Mr. Guy Guidry from USA, Mr. Daizo Iwasaki and his wife Mrs. Iwasaki from Japan as invited guests for the convention. Mr. Chaingbao Xin from China was also a guest.

We had demonstrations, workshops, cultural programme and Swamiji’s healing music during these three days. Members could also see Swamiji’s Bonsai collection in beautiful Kishkindha Moolika Bonsai Gardens, Herbal Garden, Nakshatra Garden, Rashi Garden, Vishwam Museum consisting of many artifacts, crystals, stamps and stones collected from world over by H. H. Swamiji.

During the event many people were given awards for good bonsai, bonsai photographs, and for outstanding efforts in spreading the art in India. Nikunj and Jyoti Parekh were given following honours.

  • The Chairman Mrs. Solita Rosade of WBFF awarded them for the Noble vision of promoting world friendship, peace & goodwill through the art of bonsai.
  • World Bonsai Friendship Federation’s Award for their time and dedication in organizing and co-chairing the successful event of 2007 by Mr. Daizo Iwasaki of Japan.
  • Certificate for outstanding bonsai exhibited- of Water and land of Juinperus tree from WBFF Mr. Daizo Iwasaki of Japan Vice Chairman WBFF. An award from BCI president Mr. I.C.Su of Taiwan
  • Glass Award from Bonsai leaders of India as being Torch Bearers of Indian Bonsai Effort.
  • As best teachers of Bonsai art in India from Students present at the convention, ‘OUR TEACHERS JYOTIBEN & NIKUNJBHAI – with a special gift for learning. And with a heart that deeply cares, you add a lot of love to everything you share, and even though you mean a lot, you will never know how much you helped to change the world through every life you touched. For sparking the creativity in the students whom you taught, and helped them strive for goals that could not be bought. You are such a special teacher, that no words can truly tell. However much you are valued for the work you do so well.

    2008

    Banyan Bonsai Club and the Bonsai Club of Baroda got chapter affiliation.

    In February 2008, we had workshops in Mumbai and Coimbatore by Mr. Lutfi and Mr Hidayat from Indonesia. Members from Pune, Indore, Nagarcoil and Silvasa, witnessed the workshops.

    NICHIN BONSAI magazine got a new look with a fresh and improved layout. This was possible due to the support we received from family members, friends and business associates of Mr. Subhash Purohit. This magazine is now dedicated to late Sadhana Subhash Purohit, whose love, devotion, efforts to pursue the Bonsai hobby and her loyalty to Bonsai Study group was unparalleled. The 1st issue of this magazine had its release function on 30th April 2008 at Textile Committee Auditorium, Prabhadevi, Mumbai. Consul General of Japan Mr Hagiuda and Mrs Sangeeta Jindal graced the occasion. Jyoti and Nikunj gave demonstration of ‘Rock grown bonsai’.

    At Preyas, Babulnath, ‘Parekh’s Shree Udyan & Daizo Iwasaki Reference Library on Bonsai & Greenery was opened.

    In September, IBS-BCI 2008 was held in ST. Vincent, Aosta Valley of Italy. A group of 13 members from Mumbai and Muscat attended. They also went to Spain, Switzerland and Italy to see bonsai collection of masters of those areas. Nikunj and Jyoti gave a Saikei demonstration at the convention, which was highly appreciated.

    2009
    Bonsai Study Group exhibited Bonsai at VJTI show organized by ‘Friends of the trees’ Display was in the form of Indian map having the themes ‘United we bloom and divided we wither’, and ‘ Unity in diversity’.

    We had workshops for members by Mr Lutfi and Mr Hidayat in Mumbai.

    IN July Nikunj attended WBFF – World Bonsai Convention at San Juan, Puerto Rico in USA, where Nikunj and Jyoti were honoured with Gold Medals for promoting Bonsai in India and other countries.

    On Wednesday the 26th August 2009 at felicitation event organized by Indo-Japanese Association, Mr. Nana Chudasama, Founder of “I Love Mumbai” Committee informed the large gathering that “the honour given to Nikunj & Jyoti by World Bonsai Friendship Federation was long overdue. It is high time the Government of Maharashtra and Government of India too honour them for spreading and promoting Bonsai Art in every corner of our country." On the same occasion Ms. Pheroza Godrej, President of National Association of ‘Friends of The Trees’ complimented Parekhs as ardent greenery and nature lovers. The trustee of Indo-Japanese Association Mr. Suresh Kotak presented them with a silver salver on this occasion. The event was preceded by a presentation prepared by Students and Members of Bonsai Study Group on “Thirty years journey into the Wonder world of the Parekh couple”.

    A group of 21 members attended ASPAC 09 Convention at Taichung- Taiwan. They also went to Japan and visited Mr & Mrs Daizo Iwasaki’ s bonsai garden and gardens of other masters at Omiya. Nikunj and Jyoti gave a demo on Saikei at Taiwan during the convention which was greatly appreciated by all and for which they were presented with awards.

    2010
    NICHIN BONSAI magazine entered 25th year of its publication.

    From 8th to 12th Aug 2010, Bonsai master Chiang and Dr Fu Chen of Taiwan, gave workshops to bonsai members. Chapter affiliation granted to Muscat, Oman group.

    In December 2010, our group organized an exhibition of bonsai and ‘Little Japan’ at Birla College Kalyan. Simultaneously, Bonsai demos were given for the benefit of the large number of students.

    2011
    During January 2011, we had Mr Lufti and Mr Hidayat from Indonesia to give workshops in Mumbai, Bangalore, Vadodara and Bhopal. Members from Pune, Bhopal, Indore, Chennai, Mysore, Raipur and Delhi also took part in these events.

    2012
    During 2012, All India Bonsai Convention & Exhibition 23rd - 26th November 2012 at Vadodara city in Gujarat was planned with hectic preparations for the whole year by Mumbai as well as by members of Vadodara under the leadership of Parekhs and Chanda Agrawal. The all India event had headliners from China, Indonesia, Japan, Australia & USA. With the creation of team work, unity of approach and good wishes from all over the world this event was successful.

    2013
    We had two successful events in 2013. In September, group of 34 members from India went to Jintan- China for World convention. Jyoti and Nikunj Parekh gave a penjing demonstration. Mumbai members travelled to Yellow mountain area for sigh seeing. We had Bonsai exhibition in Borivali, in collaboration with Borivali Sanskruti Kendra. Along with the exhibition there were bonsai demonstrations for public and bonsai drawing art competition for children.

    2014
    India-Taiwan Friendship Bonsai Events held at Mumbai, Bangalore & Mysore cities from 22nd February upto 2nd March 2014. Demonstrations & workshops conducted by Min Hsuan Lo, Shiv Wen Ren, Yuching Yuan and Ho Yung Yu from Taiwan and Jyoti & Nikunj Parekh assited by Sujata Bhat from Mumbai.

    Sunrise on Australian Bonsai was held at Gold Course jointly by BCI (Bonsai Clubs International) and AABC (Association of Australian Bonsai Clubs) from 21st – 24th August 2014. We were invited to give the demonstration as headliners. Jyoti did Buxus harlandii with rocks and Nikunj did Australian Ficus with another type of rocks they made these two Saikei and they fetched in the auction more than Australian $900. This event was attended by more than 400 people from across the world.




    Consulate General of Japan, Japan foundation & Indo-Japanese Association organized & exhibition of Bonsai Ikebana, Sumi-e painting origami & Japanese language at Y.B.Chawan centre on 16th November 2014.


    2015 - China

    Jyoti Parekh standing with Bonsai displayed in the China Convention.

    Nikunj & Jyoti Parekh standing with leading Steel Pipe Mfg. Co. Director and Bonsai Art Patron Mr. Chen Chang.

    Indian group inviting Chinese delegates to Mysore events in December 2016.

    Bonsai Study Group members from Mumbai attended China convention in February 2015.



    2015 - South Africa

    WBFF Board Members & Consultants with Stellenbosch South Africa, Mayour in Town Hall.

    Forest Planting – was planned with placement position. The first tree was placed by Mayor of Stellenbosch, all WBFF Directors, Consultants, Headliners and South African Team.

    Forest Planting – was planned with placement position. The first tree was placed by Mayor of Stellenbosch, all WBFF Directors, Consultants, Headliners and South African Team.

    Forest Planting – was planned with placement position. The first tree was placed by Mayor of Stellenbosch, all WBFF Directors, Consultants, Headliners and South African Team.

    Inviting all to Mysore, India for Dec. 2016 event blessed by Pujya Swamiji and a power point presentation was shown to delegates of South Africa Convention.

    Bonsai Study group of Indo – Japanese Association Mumbai with its Affiliated chapters across India is organizing International Bonsai Convention from 19th to 22nd December 2016. This event is sponsored by Avadhootha Datta Peetham of Mysore. It is supported by Bonsai Clubs International – BCI & World Bosai Friendship Federation – WBFF.
    10 International Headliners will grace the occasion.

    Beyond the Sprit of Bonsai – 2016.
    International Bonsai Convention & Exhibition 19th – 22nd December 2016 was very successfully concluded more than 450 people from India & other countries attended.
    Emphasis was on group activities & team spirit with efforts to make all Bonsai related items and Indian talents getting full encouragement.