Although it was a only small juniper that started Boon on his journey, that tree would soon have a huge impact on his life and his future. He became fascinated with bonsai. Before long, he joined the Bonsai Society of San Francisco, the club through which he took his first beginner class in the spring of 1989. Anxious to learn as much as possible about bonsai, Boon studied with as many teachers as he could find in California.

Boon’s bonsai skills advanced when he hosted bonsai master Akio Kondo, who was Kihachiro Kamiya’s first apprentice. Later, Boon worked and studied at Kihachi-En (a famous bonsai nursery in Japan) and was an apprentice to Kihachiro Kamiya, a great bonsai master with multiple national awards.

In April 2000, Boon won the Grand Prize in the Kindai Bonsai Styling Contest in Japan. He was the only non-Japanese entrant in the contest. He has since won numerous other awards and recognition for his work, both nationally and internationally.

Boon returned repeatedly to Japan for prolonged periods of bonsai study until master Kamiya’s passing in January, 2004. Boon founded and became the Sensei (primary teacher) of BAY ISLAND BONSAI, and started his business, Bonsai Boon, in 1998.