Who Am I?

Miki 美樹 “beautiful tree” ~ This was the name I was given by my parents Hiroko Tanaka and John Bryan. My mother a native of Fukuoka, Japan and my father an Irish American from Portsmouth, NH where I was born. Stationed in Japan with the Navy he met my mother over 51 years ago and they are still going strong.

Not a believer in coincidence I have always had a connection with nature and especially trees from as far back as I can remember. As a child they were one of my favorite things to sketch, always with winding branches and thick roots that would reach into the open space. My mother told me a story her grandmother told her about where she had been found as a baby inside the trunk of a tree. To this day my imagination still leaves room for that to be entirely possible. And although my mothers family was on the other side of the world, those things that I have been drawn to without knowing as a child are a reflection of those things my grandparents held sacred. Only to have met them once in my 48 years, distance has proven no barrier to the spirits that make up our life light. It is through Bonsai and all things in the natural world that I feel most connected to that half of who I am.

What I have come to know is that life at it’s simplest form is beautiful. I have had the great fortune to have worn many hats throughout the years, from Counselor at a halfway house for adolescent girls, Newsroom Support Network Administrator for NBC, ABC, ESPN, FOX, CNN, Web and Graphic designer for high tech companies, being one half of an acoustic duo The Rafters, doing all things Bonsai at The Oldest Most Beautiful Bonsai Nursery in New England, Bonsai West to working in the private and public school sectors as Teacher, Learning Aide and Field Hockey Coach. So it would appear my dad was right…”You can do anything with a Psychology degree”.

But most importantly I am a wife and mother of three amazing children which I deem as my greatest accomplishments and success. I prefer to have my hands in the dirt rather than on a technological device, and believe that it’s important to sit in the forest and just listen. I am fascinated with the amazing capabilities of the human spirit and the powers we all have in us in this life and beyond.

My ultimate goal is to live a life where my answer to “How are you?” is “Just right.” It’s a work in progress. The essence of the Koshintō religion is nature worship so in the spirit of my ancestors I am inspired to share that passion with you.

I am excited to introduce 舎田 Inaka which means “Countryside” in Japanese. I wanted to combine the history of our home with my heritage and to create a space to share projects, upcoming workshops and local events. 舎田 Inaka will be a place you will find not only “all things Bonsai” but a little bit of everything from repurposing old fire pit bases into a water feature to discovering your animal totem. Be sure to visit my new blog “The Inside Scoop” to see the latest article which will introduce another exciting facet of Countryside “Inaka” Bonsai which is a new local music studio called “Live at Countryside”. Which will feature live music recorded here at Countryside.

Thank you for visiting and allow yourself to ~
Laugh • Cry • Heal

Be Well,
Miki Fitzgibbons


My Grandfather at 101 years Old! Owned his own Bonsai business in Fukuoka, Japan until his passing at 103.