Some Japanese media are calling him the “Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis.” The Japanese man’s real name is Satoshi Ohashi, and he is a 35-year old janitor who resides in Osaka’s Higashiyodogawa Ward. He was arrested at his home recently for cultivating and dealing “taima” (pronounced “tie-mah”), which is the Japanese word for marijuana.
But you haven’t seen any marijuana plants that look like Ohashi’s. Instead of growing them the traditional route—in which the plants can grow over a meter high—Ohashi grew his cannabis disguised as bonsai trees. The plants maxed out around 40 centimeters as a result.
Police confiscated 212 grams of marijuana, worth around 1.2 million yen (~$10,540 USD). Ohashi was arrested and charged with “suspicion of cultivating 21 cannabis plants.”
The bonsai tradition dates back to 6th century and has gone by names like “tray scenery” and “prenjing.” Translated to its literal definition, “bonsai” means “planted in a container.” Planting bonsai has elevated into an artform and requires a great deal of patience and diligence. Ohashi told authorities he started planting his marijuana like bonsai to conserve space. He added quite honestly that he’d never “produced such a great crop.” He was inspired to grow his marijuana into bonsai after researching online five years ago.
Related Story: Why Was A Fundraiser For Burned Marijuana Farms Shut Down?
Marijuana laws are very strict in Japan and enforced with the same classification as heroin. A restaurant owner was arrested in Osaka just this month for possession of 11 grams and was a top story in the local media.
Hopefully the “Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis” isn’t punished too harshly. When the dust settles, he can always take his talents overseas.