Thieves Steal 400-Year-Old Bonsai Trees Worth $118,000 in Japan

Bonsai theft: Japanese couple robbed of 400-year-old tree

Bonsai theft: Japanese couple robbed of 400-year-old tree

The still unknown team of bonsai thieves reportedly stole $118,000 worth of the finest trees from Iimura's collection, which has been regarded as some of the most handsome bonsai trees in the world.

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

The distraught owners said they were still hopeful their "tree babies" would be returned - but implored the thieves to take proper care of them.

A couple who specializes in growing bonsai trees was left heartbroken after seven specimens worth upwards of $100,000 were stolen from their nursery in Saitama, Japan.

"These bonsai that we raised like children", Fuyumi Iimura wrote, "are they being watered properly?"

The miniature plants are grown in containers that mimic the shape of fully-sized trees, and require expert care. It is believed to be worth over 10m yen ($91,000; £70,720).

"It can live forever, even after we're gone".

Seiji Imura spread word of the incident in a January 13 Facebook post, where he wrote that several of bonsai had been stolen overnight from their garden.

"We treated these miniature trees like our children", Fuyumi Iimura told CNN.

Ms Iimura said she suspected the people behind the theft last month were professionals, as they had successfully identified the "most valuable trees" from the couple's property, which boasts around 3,000 bonsais. "In the meantime, we will continue cultivating trees worthy of everyone's praise". Referring to whoever has the bonsai, she asks the tree: "are they giving you enough water?"

"Bonsais are meant to be revered and celebrated and should be beyond human greed".

'I am filled with sadness and heartache, ' she wrote.

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