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THE 2014 RULES of the program

The American Bonsai Society invites you to submit your bonsai for one of our annual awards given in honor of John Y. Naka. These awards will be given to North American bonsai artists and hobbyists who exhibit the spirit of artistic design taught by Master Naka using North American native material or material grown entirely in North America as exhibited by one of his or her bonsai.


The entrant:

  1. Any bonsai artist or hobbyist who is a resident of North America is eligible.
  2. Applicants must be a current member of ABS. You may join at the same time you are submitting your digital images
  3. The entrant may be a hobbyist or professional. Two awards will be given so that hobbyists are not competing against professionals.
  4. May not win a given division more than once.

The bonsai:

  1. The bonsai must be owned by and primarily styled by the artist submitting it. The tree may come from nursery stock, pre-bonsai, seed or cutting grown or collected material.
  2. The bonsai must not be a previous winner of this award.
  3. Applicants may submit more than one entry.

Entry requirements:

Entries will come from two sources:  any member of ABS submitting a digital photograph of a suitable tree by August 1, 2014, AND any eligible trees exhibited at the annual ABS convention.  Once the winner is selected, an image for publication of the winning bonsai will need to be 240 pixels per inch with the image at 100% of production size (9 by 12 inch). No retouching of the image is permitted. The digital image must have been taken within the year prior to submission.

 All photographic entries must be submitted through the ABS website entry form or an E-mail submitted to naka@absbonsai.org by August 1, 2014.


The Judging:

  1. The Naka Committee (Appointed by the ABS President) will appoint three judges to review the applications submitted and select the winner. Judges will rank from 1 to last and comment on all qualified entrants to each division. The judges will be given only the Bonsai Information and the digital images and NOT the name of the artists or hobbyists.
  2. Judges will be selected from artists who have not entered the current contest.
  3. Applicants will be notified by email of the results by November 1, 2014.
  4. Digital images will become the property of ABS and may be used in its publications.
  5. The committee chair will average the results and report the winners to the committee, the entrants and ABS.
  6. The committee chair will pass on the comments of the judges (without naming the judges) to the entrants.
  7. The decision of the judges will be final.


The Award the winner of each division will receive:

  • An inscribed award designed to be shown outdoors next to the winning tree.
  • Publication of the bonsai’s image in the ABS Bonsai Journal. The winner may submit the story of the bonsai for publication also.  The Editor of the Journal will determine if any entries or winners are suitable for use as cover photographs. 

For Questions Contact:

The John Naka Award Committee At naka@absbonsai.org

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