International exchange


Sister Museum Agreement

Partner Institution: National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Date: August. 5th 2019
Signed by: Hayato Shimizu, Mayor of Saitama City and Dr. Richard Olsen, Director of the U.S. National Arboretum
U.S. National Arboretum Website:
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Website:


Summary of Sister Museum Declaration Ceremony

On August 5th, 2019, The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum became a sister museum to the U.S. National Arboretum’s National Bonsai & Benjing Museum, which is a leading U.S. bonsai institution.

The signing of the “Sister Museums Declaration” was done at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum in Washington D.C. by Saitama City Mayor Hayato Shimizu and the U.S. National Arboretum Director Dr. Richard T. Olsen.

The declaration was signed in front of the Yamaki Pine, the symbol of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. This bonsai is a Japanese white pine given by Hiroshima’s Masaru Yamaki. It is known throughout America as a bonsai which survived the Hiroshima atomic bombing.

After the signing, there were speeches from both Director Olsen and Mayor Shimizu, as well as a message full of anticipation about the partnership from Felix B. Laughlin, representative of the National Bonsai Foundation.

Mayor Shimizu was also presented with a relief plaque by Director Olsen. This plaque was created by sculptor Kiyomi Sakaguchi and was presented with the hope that through bonsai, the two institutions will continue their international relations and that the people of both nations will continue to love bonsai.


Sister Museum Declaration Information

National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Enters into Historic “Sister Museum” Relationship with Omiya Bonsai Art Museum in Japan — National Bonsai Foundation (


Partner Institution: National Arboretum Canberra

Date: November 1st, 2023
Signed by: Hayato Shimizu, Mayor of Saitama City and Scott Sadler, Execurive Branch Manager of the National Arborteum Canberra
National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia Website:
National Arboretum Canberra Website:

Summary of the Ceremony 

On November 1st, 2023, Saitama City Mayor Shimizu Hayato and Scott Sadler, Executive Branch Manager of the National Arboretum Canberra, signed a memorandum of understanding declaring the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum and the National Arboretum Canberra as Sister Institutions. Many attended the signing, such as Australian Ambassador to Japan Justin Hayhurst.

The ceremony for the signing of the memorandum of understanding was held in front of the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum’s most famous bonsai, the Japanese white pine named “Higurashi”. This bonsai was taken from the mountains (also known as yamadori) and placed into a pot over 90 years ago. While passing through the hands and being cared for by numerous famous bonsai artists, it never lost the wild feeling which comes from bonsai taken from the mountains. It has been trained into an elegant form, turning it into a valuable bonsai which has left its mark on the history of bonsai.

Executive Branch Manager Scott Sadler and Mayor Hayato Shimizu each gave speeches throughout the ceremony.

About the Ceremony 

The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama (
International Bonsai Relationship Formalised – Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama Japan – National Arboretum (

Site map

Site policy

Back to top