Our Story

The Kaikou Bonsai Study Group was formed by a group of graduates of the Kaikou School of Bonsai to further the practice, study, and sharing of the art of bonsai with fellow members and other interested persons through meetings, workshops, exhibitions, and demonstrations. Membership is open to the public and enthusiasts of all skill levels are welcome to join.

Kaikou is a Japanese word that literally means 'unexpected encounter or crossing paths.’ In this case, it is a person-to-person or person-to-bonsai (nature) encounter; our eyes are opened with wonderment when we have this surprise encounter with nature in the form of a bonsai. It is this 'wonderment' with bonsai that we want to share with others, within the club and without as well as to further our own knowledge and enjoyment of this art form.

The Kaikou School of Bonsai was founded by John Romano at New England Bonsai Gardens in 2009.

Board members

Joel MullenPresident
Charles OrrVice President
Michael WoodsTreasurer

John Romano, Program Committee/Resident Mentor
Chip Coller, Program Committee

About John Romano

My first experience with plants was at 4 years old, helping my Italian Grandfather plant seeds and later pruning apple, pear and fig trees in the garden. This was my first 'crossing path' with trees. In 1975 I started to 'play' with bonsai. It was more like creating a morgue for trees! After this first foray in futility, I stumbled upon some good books and finally found New England Bonsai Gardens (then in South Natick) and my passion was rooted. I've had many teachers over the years, in single courses and workshops, as well as more extensive learning relationships with Kenji Miyata at New England Bonsai Gardens and a short study period at Taisho en in Shizuoka, Japan with shohin bonsai master, Nobuichi Urushibata. I have been teaching bonsai classes and private students at New England Bonsai Gardens since 2000.

John Romano with shohin bonsai master, Nobuichi Urushibata


About New England Bonsai Gardens

In 1987 we started New England Bonsai Gardens by renting one greenhouse in South Natick, MA, outside of Boston. Now, in our current eight acre home in Bellingham, MA, a beautiful location with eight greenhouses we are recognized as one of the nations largest, most beautiful and comprehensive bonsai nurseries. Our ties with Japan are strong. We host teachers and guests every year. We import from Japan and other Asian countries. Our roots also extend to the West Coast where we have cultivated relationships with some of the best and most experienced bonsai growers in the country.

For over 30 years we have offered the very finest in bonsai and bonsai education. We would love to have you as part of our ever expanding bonsai community, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned practitioner you are very welcome.