Review: Bonsai Empire’s New Kimura Course

Once again the crew of Bonsai Empire returned to Mr. Kimura’s studio to interview and film, turning out Kimura Techniques Masterclass.

This course is an intimate and up-close view of Mr. Kimura working on two trees. You get to see him change his mind as he styles, according to what he discovers, and talk through his thinking and methodology. All with his signature white towel draped over his shoulder, like a bonsai chef (and once, in flip flops).

story a 1

In the Yew chapters his choices about what to leave as living tissue and others to make deadwood are a great study in interest and brevity.

kim 2a

With the Juniper, the graft preparation and wiring demos are well done.

Oscar told me that this masterclass is the result of 4-5 years planning, saying, “Mr. Kimura wanted to share some of his legacy.”

I liked:

  • Great video quality
  • Three camera distances: whole view, close in, and very close in
  • Personable approach
  • Valuable study for design and hand skills
  • Some sections are without conversation, focussing on what Mr. Kimura is doing


  • If already familiar with raffia and bending techniques, you may find the best takeaways to be subtle skills picked up while watching him work, not mystery techniques.

In sum, I thought that like many Bonsai Empire courses this one will prove most useful to those without access to professionals. It’s fun to watch. Great trees and a great photography setup.

Link to Bonsai Empire’s Kimura Techniques Masterclass previews, and to sign up:

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  1. Mats Hagstrom says:

    A politely understated review. Above all respectful.

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