Thieves steal bonsai trees, appearance at a beauty competition.
A couple in Japan have had their 400-year-old bonsai tree stolen ahead of its appearance at a beauty competition.
Thieves stole seven of the tiny trees totalling around 13 million yen (£91,342), according to the wife of the bonsai master.
Fuyumi Iimura said that those responsible were probably professionals as they had taken the “most valuable trees” from the couple’s 3,000 tree collection.
According to CNN, she said: “We treated these miniature trees like our children. There are no words to describe how we feel. It’s like having your limbs lopped off.”
Her husband is a fifth-generation bonsai master. His family’s practice dates back to the 1600s.
He told reporters that the 400-year-old tree had been removed from a mountain hundreds of years ago. It was then shrunk down to its miniature form.
The couple have appealed for the return of the trees and said that they wanted the thief to take good care of the plants.
Mr Limura said: “I want whoever took the bonsais to make sure they are watered. The shimpaku lived for 400 years. It needs care and can’t survive a week without water,” said Iimura.
“They can live forever — even after we’re gone, if they receive the proper care.”