Lindsay Shiba started his bonsai training at the young age of 11. He learned from his father Katsumi Shiba, who was an early student of John Naka in the Los Angeles area. Two years later, as Lindsay’s interest developed he became a student of Khan Komai at his Bonsai-En in Temple City in 1972.
As Lindsay’s sensei, Khan instilled a love and understanding of the formal display of bonsai. Now Lindsay has given presentations of formal display across America and Mexico, following in his mentor’s footsteps. Lindsay is also known for his unique accent plantings which add to the display of his trees.
After graduating in 1981 from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Ornamental Horticulture, Lindsay worked at and now co-owns the family nursery, Mt. Fuji Garden Center in Upland, California. Although it is not a bonsai nursery it does give Lindsay access to interesting stock, such as, Dwarf conifers, unusual Japanese Maples and various imported materials. The nursery offers beginning through advanced bonsai classes with a workshop held on a monthly basis.
Continuing the tradition established over 40 years ago, Lindsay now oversees the original Winter Silhouette’s show at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. This show focuses on the beauty of branch structure and the winter feel of deciduous trees. It is put on by Baikoen Bonsai Kenkyu-kai, a club he has been a member of over 20 years.
Currently, Lindsay is new membership chairman and past president of California Bonsai Society, the last officer appointed by John Naka. Prior to this, for 5 years, he was CBS show chairman for their spring show at the Huntingt on Library. Lindsay’s other club involvement is John Naka’s NanPuKai.
When scheduling allows, Lindsay shares at clubs and conventions on the difference between matsu and momiji branch techniques, plant propagation, formal display and horticultural maintenance of bonsai. He has also assists Ben Oki and Harry Hirao in workshops and demonstrations where ever possible.
Other hobbies of Lindsay include his family, traveling and sumi-e painting. He now has the privilege of sharing beginning bonsai with his 14-year old son, Caleb. Local club members have seen Caleb grow up in the bonsai community and now recognize him as an accomplished “raffle runner” at meetings and conventions. Lindsay’s wife, Debbie is his biggest Bonsai Supporter (besides “Grandma” Kay Komai) and is often seen in the kitchen at Winter Silhouettes or doing needlework on the sidelines. Bonsai has become a Shiba family affair.