TOKYO (WASHINGTON POST) – Ms. Fuyumi Iimura has a message for anyone who broke into her family's large garden outside Tokyo and made a small fortune of some of the most beautiful bonsai on the planet: please water herds  For a period of several nights, a team of bonsai bandits stole the cream from Ms Iimura's collection, considered one of the most exquisite in existence, CNN reports.
It was like losing a child, he said in a Facebook post. The only thing worse would be if the trees were not properly cared for and the work of centuries wilted away because of negligence
"I want everyone who has taken the bonsai to make sure they are watered The shimpaku lived for 400 years She needs treatment and can not survive a week without water, "said Ms. Iimura in the post afflicted by her Facebook page, referring to the rare junipers that have been stolen.
"They can live forever ̵
Of course, the thieves knew what they were doing in the last month's blow They stole a total of seven trees, but those were the most expensive in Ms Iimura's collection, according to CNN.
Combined, the plants were worth $ 118,000 (S $ 160,000) but could go much further into illicit markets.
"We treated these miniature trees as our children," said Ms. Iimura. "There are no words to describe how we feel. It is like having the limbs cut off. "
Her husband Seiji Iimura is a fifth-generation bonsai master whose family has been growing bonsai since the Edo period, which ended in 1868.
Ms Iimura's Facebook profile is full of images of bonsai trees: mature trees in their garden, younger specimens and pre-bonsai seedlings in a green fair
But if bonsai were children, the shimpaku was clearly the favorite, a 400-year-old cover model of a tree whose wavy lines are directly outside a storybook.
The junipers of Shimpaku, which are increasingly at risk in the wild, are in hard-to-access cliff areas, according to the World Bonsai Friendship Federation. Stories that look like mythical fables abound of bonsai collectors who risk life on the Japanese mountains to collect the trees.
Iimuras' shimpaku had a similar past
It had been taken from a mountain more than four sec oils ago, and The family of Iimura had gradually brought down the tree up to its present size, three feet tall and more than two feet wide.
The posters dotted for a bonsai fair. Mrs. Iimura took pictures of the tree surmounted by the snow, with the needles covered with glistening ice crystals. The couple hoped to enter a competition in the coming months.
Despite their prestige status as a celebrity for bonsai, the Iimuras did not hide it, reported Asahi Shimbun, a national newspaper in Japan. They kept the farm open to the public, so fans could be close to the bonsai.
For the same reason, the couple did not implement restrictive security measures. This will change after the thieves have done without a miniature tree that costs as much as a sports car.
They also made out other trees, even rare shimpaku trees.
"An expert in bonsai must have been involved in the theft," Mr. Iimura told the newspaper.
There is, of course, no interpol database of stolen bonsai, but this theft seems to be an order of magnitude greater than similar thefts.
In November, a farm in Saitama, Japan, was stolen eight pots for bonsai – six months after a similar blow, according to the newspaper Asahi. The farm was also hit if it was equipped with eight surveillance cameras.
Last May, someone apparently jumped the Artisans Bonsai barbed wire fence in Florida and stole two trees worth US $ 7,500, according to WTVT, a Tampa Fox affiliate. After the theft, owner Joe Cain increased security measures and hired an armed security guard.
Like many victims of bonsai theft, he realized it did not mean he saw his trees for the last time. The world of bonsai is small and people who have been robbed often see their trees on sale signs and collectors' Instagram accounts again.