Post-Dated: The Schooling of an Irreverent Bonsai Monk was published in the fall of 2008. Much of it is from a journal I kept while an apprentice under Shinji Suzuki of Nagano, Japan. Part I of the book is an anecdotal account of the lunacy that apprenticing can be, and Part II are essays about bonsai and apprenticeship. You don’t need an interest in bonsai to enjoy this book, as it is very much a travelogue in spirit and content. It is a small, intimate book of 214 pages.
Post-Dated was serialized in the German language bonsai magazine Bonsai Art in 2010. There are also Portuguese and Spanish book versions in the works.
Post-Dated won a Gold Medal in the 2009 PubWest Book Design Awards.
Read a Review of Post-Dated by Wayne Schoech:
A few early comments about Post-Dated: The Schooling of an Irreverent Bonsai Monk:
- “An illuminating book for those seeking the true meaning of bonsai…revealing how bonsai opens our hearts to compassion and the poignant beauty of nature.” —Felix Laughlin, President, National Bonsai Foundation
- “Post-Dated is at once an entertaining narrative…and an examination of the meaning and soul of bonsai that is rarely discussed—or even understood—by Western teachers.” —David DeGroot, teacher and curator, Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection
- “[The] admirable book, Post-Dated, provides insight into an intriguing world…apprenticing in a bonsai nursery comes alive…” —Farrand Bloch, Chief Editor, Bonsai Focus magazine
- “… Michael’s thoughts and experiences are accurate, informative and well written. I was captivated by his book and could not put it down until I finished it!” —William N. Valavanis, teacher and publisher, International Bonsai magazine
- “No one has accomplished as much as Michael did in Japan, and he will bring American bonsai to a higher standard.” —Boon Manakitivipart, bonsai artist and teacher
- “Michael’s [book] can spread the messages that I have always wanted to express most through bonsai . . . love for the mercy of all living things in the world, and peace: people’s hopes and dreams manifested through true works of bonsai, which can go far beyond human vitality.” —Shinji Suzuki, Kokufu and Prime Minister Award-winning bonsai master
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