It’s no surprise that most ordinary joes in Japan are unfamiliar with cannabis growing techniques. So when one Osaka resident decided to take up his own crop, he decided to go at the green with a much different tradition of gardening.
Satoshi Ohashi, a 35-year old janitor living in the Higashiyodogawa Ward of Osaka, Japan, was arrested at his home last month for cultivating and selling “taima”—the Japanese word for marijuana (pronounced “tie-mah”)—which resembled bonsai trees due to his unique cultivation methods.
Ohashi treated his pot plants as if they were bonsai trees, rather than employ the usual cultivation and production methods to grow pot plants, which normally grow over a meter high. Ohashi’s plants maxed out at 40 centimeters (15.748 inches) high instead.
Police discovered 21 bonsai pot plants, each approximately 12 to 15 inches high, in Ohashi’s house.
While most cannabis plants can grow up to a meter, the Osaka local was snipping his off at 15 inches. The bonsai tree tradition goes all the way back to the 6th century. Beginning with a variation on the Chinese practice of ‘penjing,’ or ‘tray scenery,’ it has since become better known as a Japanese art form of its own. The practice exercises grace, patience and a green thumb. When pressed by authorities, the Osaka janitor said it was to conserve space. Just making the most of his tiny apartment. But at the same time, Ohashi said it was the first time he “produced such a great crop.”