A Japanese couple turned to social media to make a simple appeal to the thieves who stole seven bonsai from them: please take care of "our children".
Seiji Iimura and his wife Fuyumi said the miniature trees were brought from their garden last month in Saitama, near Tokyo.
"There are no words to describe how we feel," he wrote on a Facebook post. "They were precious."
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The trees were worth about $ 90,000 and included a juniper from Shimpaku, a year of 400 years -a old tree that has been taken care of by Iimura for 25 years.
"Bonsai is like our children," Fuyumi Iimura told the New York Times. "They are our children who have been living for 400. Now I feel as if our members had been taken away, and I missed them every day."
The couple implored that the thieves water the trees and return them.
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Bonsai trees are often associated with Japan and are considered a form of art based on techniques of specific cultivation, according to the BBC. Miniature plants grow in containers and require expert care.
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The police are investigating the theft, but so far it has not been possible to trace the thieves.
"We are sad and desolate but we will continue to protect our Bonsai" Fuyumi Iimura wrote on Facebook. "In the meantime, we will continue to grow trees worthy of everyone's praise."