Monthly Archive for September, 2008

Found an interesting article about a Japanese-American nurseryman Toichi Domoto

Toichi Domoto

A Japanese-American nurseryman’s life in California: floriculture and family, 1883-1992

With Introductions by Julius Nuccio and Ernest Wertheim
Interviews Conducted by Suzanne B. Riess in 1992

The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Copy at

This sasanqua cultivar, ‘Dwarf Shishi’, was originated by Toichi Domoto in 1988:

It is excellent for bonsai.

Also I found a very likely photo pictures of Toichi Domoto (need to check with Tom Nuccio) on I am almost sure this is the same one (born 1902, high school in East Bay):

Continue reading ‘Found an interesting article about a Japanese-American nurseryman Toichi Domoto’

‘Nodami Ushiro’ – a Higo-like sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua ‘Nodami Ushiro’. Introduced by Domoto Nursery, California, 1934, but is originally from Japan. Stirling Macoboy believes that the name means “a backward glance” in Japanese, but he is probably incorrect. Since I cannot find this name in Japanese sources and my Japanese wife tells me that Japanese people are not likely to name a flower this way (“mi” meaning “body”), I guess that the original name was different. From browsing the history of Toichi Domoto I got an impression that he did not know Kanji well because he was a second-generation Japanese-American. Because of it, Toichi Domoto probably made a naming mistake when he imported it.

It is difficult to explain what is so special about ‘Nodami Ushiro’. It is a single pink camellia with a lot of single pink competitors – ‘Plantation Pink’, ‘Cleopatra’, ‘Tanya’ and others. However Jennifer Trehane in her camellia book calls ‘Nodami Ushiro’ “a subtle, sophisticated camellia”. Where does this sophistication come from? I have an explanation.
Continue reading ‘‘Nodami Ushiro’ – a Higo-like sasanqua’