Name: Boon Manakitivipart

Location: USA, Alameda, CA. Near Oakland and San Francisco

Availability: upon request

Willingness to Travel: Domestic and international

Programs Offered: workshops, demonstrations, lectures, private collection care

Teaching Level:


Languages Spoken: English and Thai

Best way to Contact: boon [at] bonsaiboon [dot] com

Bio: Boon's start in bonsai was the result of a birthday gift: a small juniper bonsai. Before long, he joined the Bonsai Society of San Francisco, the club through which he took his first beginner class in the spring of 1989. Anxious to learn as much as possible about bonsai, Boon studied with as many teachers as he could find in California.

Client work:

  • . Styling
  • . Seasonal care
  • . One-on-one workshops
  • . Tree searches

Serious study began when he hosted Akio Kondo, Kihachiro Kamiya's first apprentice. Mr. Kondo arrived as what the Japanese call a first-year professional, and stayed at Boon's home for one year.

In 1993, the Golden State Bonsai Federation awarded Boon a Teacher Development Scholarship; two years later, he received the Ben Oki International Design Award for styling a Sierra juniper. In 1995, Boon
received several informal offers to study bonsai in Japan. Months later he traveled to Japan where he studied bonsai for his first year as an apprentice with Yasuo Mitsuya. Later, his "bonsai home" became Kihachi-En and his master became Kihachiro Kamiya, a great bonsai master with multiple national awards. Boon said once, "He showed me bonsai standards through his amazing talent and deep personal integrity." Boon returned repeatedly to Japan for prolonged periods of bonsai study until his master's passing in January, 2004.

In 1998, Boon founded and became the teacher of Bay Island Bonsai, and started his business, Bonsai Boon.

In April 2000, Boon won the Grand Prize in the Kindai Bonsai Styling Contest in Japan (sponsored by Kindai Bonsai Magazine). Contestants styled large Japanese white pines. Boon was the only non-Japanese in the contest.

The World Bonsai Contest recognized Boon's trees in 2000, 2001, and 2002 as among the world's top 100 entries, and his students' trees have been recognized in every contest to date.

Today Boon makes his living as a full-time bonsai artist in Northern California. He styles client trees, lectures, puts on demonstrations, holds workshops, and finds show-quality bonsai for clients.

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