Japan is well-known for its unique culture that keeps mesmerizing the rest of the world. Unfortunately, for the growing list of cannabis enthusiasts, Japan is also known for its draconic marijuana policy.
However, despite the fact that the Country of the Rising Sun’s authorities has been ferociously strict in keeping marijuana use at bay, numbers point out to a rapidly growing tendency towards cannabis consumption among the young Japanese aged 20 – 30. High times in Japan are steadily becoming a thing, alongside a rapidly expanding bonsai cannabis fever in the Western world. But who is Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis anyway?
Keep reading to find out curious, little known facts and stories which are not limited to revealing more about the mysterious person who earned the nickname Mr. Miyagi of cannabis but also includes cannabis bonsai techniques, as well as valuable information regarding cannabis policy in Japan.
Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis: The 35-years-old Japanese Janitor Who Grew Cannabis Bonsai Trees
Do you remember Mr. Miyagi from the cult classic Karate Kid movies?
He was always there with his crisp, wise pieces of advice, and he was also one of the favorite characters starring in the movie because of his out-of-the-box sense of humor, coupled with those out-of-this-world karate techniques Mr. Miyagi knew better than anyone else. As a matter of fact, Mr. Miyagi’s quotes of wisdom became so popular that a whole new term was introduced to describe them – “Miyagisms.”
Video by: Feeling Nostalgic – The Karate Kid – “Miyagisms” – Quotes of Wisdom by Mr. Miyagi
Ultimately, Mr. Miyagi could be often seen taking care of his delightful collection of bonsai trees.
Digging Deeper into the Art of Bonsai and Japan’s Long History of Cannabis Use
The art of bonsai brings immediate associations with its homeland – Japan. It is the Japanese aesthetics and philosophy that shaped the practice of growing bonsai trees into what we know it today.
The bonsai tradition originated all the way back in the 6th century.
Interestingly, bonsai began as a variation of the Chinese practice known as “penjing” which translates into “tray scenery.”
Brought from China to Japan by Zen Buddhist monks, the miniature trees cultivated in miniature containers corresponded so well with the Japanese aesthetics that little by little, the Japanese managed to turn bonsai into an art form of its own.
The bonsai tree practice is seen as a unique way to exercise not only a green thumb but also the virtues of patience and grace.
The very idea behind a bonsai tree masterpiece is being able to experience the nostalgic serenity of the impermanent and to be able to experience the grace of sinking into the perfectly imperfect beauty that only the living nature is capable of creating in such an exquisite manner.
As if seeing the world and the mysteries of Life in a miniature, bonsai tree masterpieces manifest their creator’s diligence, devotion, care, modesty and understanding of the invisible, infinite laws that rule this Universe.
There are no limits in the variety of plants that can be turned into bonsai trees.
However, what is highly valued about bonsai trees is picking a plant variety that is capable of being shaped and trained to mimic as closely as possible its natural appearance in the wild. The aged appearance of the miniature trees is one of the most desirable attributes of a true bonsai masterpiece.
While there is no evidence regarding Japan’s history of cultivating cannabis bonsai trees, there is solid evidence about Japan’s long history with cannabis plants.
Back in time, cannabis plants were cultivated and utilized in Japan for their medicinal properties, as well as for the purpose of paper and cloth production. Cannabis is still locally referred to as“the fabric of Japan.”
In fact, in the 1940s, Japanese farmers were urged to plant cannabis as a way to help win the Pacific-Asia War.
Unfortunately, in the 1948 the impact of the Cannabis Control Act took place in Japan, thus, devastating the blooming cannabis farming practices in the country.
Out of more than 25,000 cannabis farms in 1948, the numbers started to plum very quickly. And so, Japanese weed farmers ended out of business. What’s worse, this drove the knowledge of cannabis cultivation in Japan to the brink of extinction.
Fast forward to the 2018s, how come a Japanese janitor managed to earn the nickname “Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis”?
Disguising Cannabis Plants as Bonsai Trees: “Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis” Steps In!
It was in September 2017 when the 35-years-old Japanese janitor Satoshi Ohashi was arrested by the Japanese officers in his home where he was found to have been growing cannabis plants, regardless of the fact that Japan has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the world.
To give you an idea of how much trouble Satoshi Ohashi risked getting into when choosing to grow cannabis plants in Japan, it is good to know that first-time offenders can end up with a five-year sentence based on the contemporary Japanese marijuana policy. The truth is the arrests of people who possess as little as 11 grams of marijuana end up making the news in Japan.
As far as the case of Satoshi Ohashi is concerned, it is way more than 11 grams of weed the officers confiscated from the janitor’s home. Ultimately, Mr.Miyagi of Cannabis was charged for possessing a total of 212 grams of marijuana, as well as for cultivating a total of 21 cannabis plants.
Even though Mr. Ohashi stated that the cannabis plants, as well as the cannabis, supplied found in his home were strictly and solely for personal use, you can bet that based on the Japanese laws, the janitor was surely into some big, big trouble with the local authorities.
The amount of marijuana confiscated from Ohashi’s home was estimated at approximately $10,000 worth if it was to hit the black market.
However, it is definitely not the street value of Ohashi’s weed stash that earned him the nickname “Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis.” Instead, what made Ohashi’s story literally go viral is that his cannabis plants were trimmed in, oh well, the most Japanese way possible.
Satoshi Ohashi intentionally kept his cannabis plants short by pruning and clipping them following the core concepts of bonsai.
Thus, he managed to grow his very own, a premium collection of 21 cannabis bonsai trees. If not to be confiscated by the Japanese police officers, Ohashi’s unusual bonsais were sure to bring him both fame and fortune if he was to introduce his cannabis bonsai skills and know-how to the Westerners.
So, what is the exact size of Ohashi’s bonsai cannabis beauties, and how does it compare with the usual size a cannabis plant reaches? Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis maintained his bonsai cannabeauties at a max of 15 inches by constantly snipping them off with utmost precision. Usually, cannabis plants can grow more than 3 meters in height if cultivated outdoors, although regular indoor cannabis plants varieties typically don’t exceed 1 – 1 ½ meter in height on an average.
When Japanese authorities pressed Ohashi in order to receive more information about what made him break the law by cultivating cannabis bonsai trees, as well as what was the very reason he ever decided to grow bonsai cannabis, Ohashi insisted that he was simply trying to conserve space and make the most out of his tiny apartment. Anyway, Ohashi couldn’t help it but admit that it was his very first time to enjoy producing “such a great crop.”
Of course, the Japanese authorities didn’t simply end Ohashi’s case before trying to uncover any additional information on the matter. As it turned out, Ohashi got inspired to give his pot bonsai plants a trim after he researched the topic online five years prior to being caught. Damn you, cookies, for revealing Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis web search history to the police.
Even more suspiciously, soon after the news for Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis hit the web, the related video simply vanished from Youtube.
Not only is it sad to think of the consequences for Ohashi’s bonsai cannabis venture, but it is also so much unfair that the Japanese pot bonsai master’s skills are totally not appreciated, and what’s worse, condemned in the country he happens to live in.
On the bright side, we do truly hope that once released, Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis will travel overseas to teach us more about how to grow bonsai cannabis plants.
Quick Facts about Cannabis Bonsai Trees You Can’t Afford to Miss Out!
#1. Cannabis bonsai tree techniques are not the most accurate term to refer to the methods applied for bonsai cannabis trees cultivation. It is the exact same techniques used in the practice of traditional bonsai tree cultivation that can beused when growing a miniature cannabis tree. With this in mind, referring to these techniques strictly as cannabis bonsai tree techniques may deprive the practitioners of realizing the true essence of the journey of growing a cannabis bonsai tree.
Bonsai is an art form and while there are particular traditional bonsai styles that can work better for some plants than others, a bonsai master knows that in bonsai limits do not exist; bonsai is a very vast experience and is not merely defined by the techniques applied, as well as studied through it for bonsai is a state of mind and being.
On the other hand, there are, indeed, particular bonsai techniques that are easy to apply and/or better suited to cannabis plants than others. However, since we are still at the very beginning of expanding our collective understanding and know-how on all things cannabis bonsai-related, it is best to keep an open mind.
The art of bonsai is a highly personal experience, and so are the techniques one may choose to take advantage of.
Ultimately, there are no two bonsai cannabis trees that look exactly the same, so if you are planning to dive into the joy of growing your very own cannabis bonsai from seed, make sure to do your traditional bonsai techniques research to find out which styles of shaping, pruning, and regular maintenance correspond best with your unique personality and skills.
#2. Up-to-date there is still a lack of cannabis bonsai guides that provide an explicit, in-depth approach to growing cannabis bonsai plants. There is no such thing as an ultimate step-by-step how to grow cannabis bonsai trees guide that covers in detail all the numerous techniques for shaping and styling a bonsai tree one may choose to apply to cannabis plants, accompanied by results, descriptions, photos of 50+ aged cannabis bonsai trees, and more.
The reason is pretty straightforward: it will take us at least about 50 years from now (which means the year 2069!) before cannabis bonsai care guides reach the level of traditional bonsai tree grow guides since in order to comply such a guide time needs to pass before bonsai cannabis trees mature and reach their full potential as bonsais.
Of course, it seems inevitable that in the foreseeable future, in-depth, explicit cannabis bonsai tree care guides will become widely available for the eager bonsai cannabis enthusiasts out there to enjoy and learn from. It will simply take some time but patience is a virtue one studies from bonsai, remember?
#3. There is no such thing as cannabis bonsai seeds. You can grow a bonsai cannabis tree from just about any marijuana seed, as long as it is of high-quality. In fact, there are no limits when it comes to what type of cannabis strain you might choose to introduce to the art of bonsai – Jack Herer, White Widow, Northern Lights, Gorilla Glue, Dark Angel are just a tiny fraction of the beloved cannabis varieties that can make fantabulous marijuana bonsais with proper care. Last but not least, both females, as well as male marijuana plants, can be turned into bonsai masterpieces. Autoflowering bonsai trees? Sure, why not.
#4. As we already shared above, it is not fully accurate to refer to traditional bonsai techniques as cannabis bonsai techniques in general. Yet there is a unique technique related to bonsai cannabis plants that are worth getting familiar with. This technique has nothing to do with shaping and pruning your cannabis bonsai in order to achieve a particular desired appearance.
Instead, the bonsai mother technique is all about getting unlimited clones from a single bonsai mother. Oh yes, this not only sounds awesome but it is, indeed, simply fantastic, for you can get to enjoy genetically identical marijuana plants from the same mother for about 5 to 6 cycles annually.
The main idea behind the bonsai mother technique is to keep the mother cannabis plants as short as 2 inches in height. It is effortless to achieve the desired size of the mother bonsai plant if it is kept in containers of approximately 6 inches in size. The roots of your mother bonsai plant must be trimmed every week or so as to prevent root bounding. Careful watering and regular care are a must but the efforts are worth it in the long run.
A mother bonsai plant can easily yield between 5 and 10 cuttings per cycle. Each year the mother bonsai should be replaced with a new one in order to ensure the vigorous, healthy development of your beloved marijuana plants-to-be.
When taking the cuttings, though, it is important to prune the bonsai mother entirely. This means that if you want to take 4 cuttings in total but your bonsai cannabis mother has 8 branches, you need to prune all of them.
When growing a cannabis bonsai tree, it is all about sticking with a well-established schedule. As long as you do so, your cannabis bonsai will thrive, or else, it will atrophy.
#5. Growing a cannabis bonsai plant is much like taking care of a pet. Since bonsai cannabis plants require regular care and attention, a special bond is established between the grower and the miniature plant itself, and this bond can only be compared with the way one experiences affection to a cat, a dog, or in fact, to another human being.
Quintessentially, when taking care of a marijuana bonsai tree, you will do for the plant what the plant can’t do for itself, and in return, the plant with do for you what you can’t do for yourself by rewarding your love and care in the most brilliant and silent way possible.
Marijuana in Japan: High Times or Low Times for Weed Culture in the Country of the Rising Sun?
Japan is known all across the globe for its indigenous, innovative, visionary approach to just about any aspect of life, varying from cut-edge technologies, food, music, fashion, and gardening, just to name a few.
In fact, Japan has given so much to the world that many of us look towards the Country of the Rising Sun as an out-of-this-galaxy miniature Universe full of wisdom and beauty because of all the invaluable inventions that were born nowhere else but in Japan.
However, as far as marijuana in Japan is concerned, the Japanese government shows zero tolerance to the rapidly growing cannabis community. This is very sad and disappointing, especially when considering how much the Japanese masterminds could actually help to raise awareness over the miraculous health benefits of marijuana through their revolutionary science-based best practices.
According to 2017 reports released by police statistics, a total of 3,008 people were arrested in Japan on charges related to cannabis. 472 of the cases came from the previous year, however, the police statistics proved out to be the highest annual figureof marijuana use ever recorded in Japan.
The figures were estimated to be significantly higher in the age bracket of 20 – 29. Furthermore, with 9.4 arrests per 100,000 people in 2017, the troubling stats displayed a tendency of almost doubling the 5 per 100,000 people arrested for pot as recently as the year 2014.
According to Junichi Takayasu who is a highly respected Japanese author, as well as the curator of the Marijuana Museum in Tochigi Prefecture, located north of Tokyo city, it was the American influence that leads to the ban on marijuana in Japan after World War II. Takayasu claims that the relationship between marijuana and Japan has been a long-standing one since hemp plants were traditionally grown for centuries for the production of medicine, cloth, and paper. However, in 1945, the Americans brought with them the concept of prohibition, and the rest is history.
We can’t help it but wonder: even if Junichi Takayasu’s claims are true, then what stops Japan from following up America’s example with marijuana legalization?
It seems that it might be a matter of time before Japanese embrace a more holistic and progressive approach to cannabis, because as of now, the Japanese marijuana policy is terribly outdated, still being stuck in the 1950s.
However, considering that the Japanese are known as the most hard-working nation on the planet, it might be the case that the Japanese government might be concerned about the lazy stoner myth (even though this one has been totally wiped off in the recent years!). Might it be the case that the Japanese are worried about how legalizing the herb may affect the locals’ attitude towards working 16+ hours a day? No worries, Nihon, weed is actually shown by research to be able to boost one’s work performance. (
In the case of Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis, growing and consuming marijuana did not stop the Japanese janitor from being 100% reliable as a professional, so where is the catch? Is the Cannabis Fever Japanese news are obsessed with to blame or is there some form of a catch? While we can’t know for sure, the latter seems far more logical to assume.
The Japanese authorities went as far as to try stopping Japanese who live in Canada from legally consuming the herb!
October 4, roughly 2 weeks prior to October 17 when the possession and use of marijuana in Canada were finally legalized, the Japanese Consulate in Vancouver posted a peculiar message on its website.
In their message, the Japanese Consulate in Vancouver kindly reminded Japanese living abroad in Canada that both the possession, as well as purchasing of marijuana remain illegal in Japan. What’s more, the message claimed that the Cannabis Control Law may be fully applicable for actions taken overseas by the Japanese.
The message continued by asking the Japanese nationals who happen to live or travel abroad to respect the Japanese laws regarding marijuana and to restrain from the use of any cannabis-based products. A similar message was issued on October 11 by the Japanese consulate general in Toronto.
According to officials from the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry of Japan, all individuals, and not solely Japanese nationals, are (technically) subject to this law, no matter where they are.
Fortunately, there are particular limits as to what authorities can possibly do to pursue an individual who violates Japanese marijuana law when abroad. And things get even trickier when the violation of this law happens in a country where such acts are actually legal.
Curiously, despite Japan’s super strict marijuana laws, several marijuana plants were found growing freely on the sideways right next to the home of the Japanese political elite’s: Nagatacho.
What was described by local journalists as the “one of the unlikeliest places” where one could stumble across cannabis plants in Japan, there seems to be something more than merely a coincidence related to the fact that the banned plants emerged at this exact location.
But Japan’s battle with the growing demand and understanding of marijuana only keeps accelerating.
In December 2017, a greengrocer aged 33 years living in Hiroshima was busted by the police who found a total of 47 marijuana plants in his apartment and house, аs well as both resin and dried form of cannabis flowers. The creative Japanese grower made use of four box-shaped growing spaces and grow lights. In the best case scenario, the Japanese weed greengrocer will end up in jail for 5 years. The greengrocer claimed that he grew the marijuana plants without any regards to making money from the black weed market in Japan but simply to share them with acquaintances.
As to the way locals think of whether marijuana should be banned or not, and whether the ferocious penalties for pot cultivation and possession should be finally changed, there is a little place to doubt that a predominant part of the representatives of the young generations of Japanese is highly likely to vote yes to marijuana legalization. At least this brings some hope when it comes to the cases of innocent people like Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis, whose indigenous skills earned him imprisonment instead of fame and love in his home country.
However, as of now, the Japanese government has given no indications about any future plans for lifting the ban on marijuana.
Video by: Asian Boss – What Do The Japanese Think Of Weed?
High Times in Japan, Growing Cannabis Bonsai Trees and Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis: Final Food for Thought
Japan is a country like no other. There are very few places on Earth where one can experience better the profound beauty of various plants, such as flowers, trees, and shrubs, as in Japan where the utmost respect for the living nature is deeply embedded in the philosophy and beliefs of the natives.
Japan hosts several festivals annually that are all about embracing the beauty of cherry trees in bloom, azaleas in bloom, wisteria trees in bloom, and maple trees in the colors of the autumn. The Japanese are also known as being among the healthiest nations on the planet, as well as the ancestors of the art of bonsai.
Taking all of these unique facts about Japan into consideration, it feels totally out of any common sense how come a gorgeous, valuable plant like the cannabis plant is still having such a bad, demonized reputation in the modern Japanese society.
We can only hope that at some point in the future, Japan will exhibit not only traditional bonsai fairs and expos but also cannabis bonsai trees exhibitions. Roaming a traditional Zen style Japanese garden was tiny, carefully pruned to perfection cannabis trees grow does seem like a splendid way to enjoy walking meditation, too. Who knows, we might just get to enjoy long-lost landrace strains originating from Japan someday.
At depart, we look back once more to the case of Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis as a brilliant source of inspiration.
Our hopes and prayers for Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis are sincere, and we do hope that next time we are about to feature an article about his cannabis bonsai trees masterpieces, it will be the ultimate tutorial to growing cannabis bonsai plants instead of a story about his arrest for cannabis cultivation by the Japanese police officers. And if we can refer to just a single one out of the many unforgettable quotes by the original Mr. Miyagi character from the Karate Kid movies, we want to remind you thata license never replaces “eye, ear, and brain” just like outdated restrictions should never blur our critical thinking and ability to appreciate the true wisdom of cannabis plants as living creatures created to serve mankind in the best ways possible.