Japanese bonsai owners urge thieves who stole 400-year-old tree to take care of it

Will Metcalfe
Bonsai trees can be worth millions of yen. Stock image. (AFP Photo/Kazuhiro NOGI)

Two Bonsai enthusiasts have launched an emotional plea to thieves who stole seven trees from them, offering care instructions for their “children”.

According to CNN Seiji Iimura and his wife Fuyumi said the prized miniature trees were taken from their garden in Saitama, near Tokyo, last month.

“There are no words to describe how we feel,” Mr Iimura wrote. “They were precious [to us].”

“We are very grateful to you for all the encouraging words from everyone, and we are very grateful for the xǐ lè garden.

“So important in the garden… the bonsai that raised like my child… are you giving me the water… I’m so sad that I’m so sad, but I’m keeping my bonsai… maybe I wish I could come back, and I would like to raise a bonsai that I will be able to compliment you again.”

The tiny trees are worth at least 13m yen ($118,000, £91,750).

Stemming from East Asia and often associated with Japan, Bonsai is a delicate art-form based on specialist cultivation techniques.

The miniature plants are grown in containers.

They require expert care and mimic the shape of fully-sized trees.

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