Harold Sasaki was born and raised in Kona on the island of Hawaii. His interest in bonsai began in 1955 at age 18 and for the past 52 years Mr. Sasaki has taught others the science behind the art. “You must understand the horticulture before you can focus on the art,” says Harold and “I’m still learning the art of bonsai.” He left Hawaii to attend college in Northern California where he studied vocational forestry, later studying recreational forestry at Colorado State University. Although he would leave forestry to work as a stockbroker, bonsai continued to be a passion.
In 1977, Harold started teaching bonsai classes at the Denver Botanical Garden where he continues to be their sole instructor. Since 1980, Harold has conducted workshops and demonstrations across the United States and Canada. He is a frequent lecturer/demonstrator at national, regional, and international conventions and seminars. He is considered to be at the Master level in collecting, training and creating bonsai. Sasaki suspects he got some of his horticultural skills from his father Taketo Sasaki, who is 100 years old and still gardens at home in Kona, he said.
Harold is a past President of the Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society and Honorary Lifetime Member. He has served as RMBS Advisory Board since 1976. He served on the Board of Directors for the American Bonsai Society for six years.
In 1985, he decided to expand his hobby into a full-time business when he opened Colorado Bonsai Ltd. in his backyard. What began as a one-greenhouse enterprise is now a wholesale/retail nursery with thousands of plants on site. He holds a U.S. patent on his bonsai training ladder and continues to improvise new techniques in the evolving art of bonsai.
His mission in life is to “demystify” the art of bonsai so more people can experience the enjoyment that comes from successfully growing this fascinating living art form.