I guess I'm in the minority here, or maybe alone, that when we specifically address the issue of American Bonsai (and I use that term meaning U.S. with no offense to the other countries in the Americas), it means American stock, with American artists, on American soil.
A truly AMERICAN bonsai is native, at least to me. The material lives its entire life on and above the soil of the U.S. Because of this, I feel the styling of the bonsai is the most important aspect of whether the bonsai is representative of American involvement. Once again, if wealthy Americans purchased the "best" 100 bonsai in the world and then re-located them to the U.S. would this matter be decided? I mentioned it earlier, but I don't see any responses or counter-points (maybe my posts are not worth responding to).
Be that as it may, I once had an internet discussion with Bill about "finished" bonsai in America that were qualified (under my personal belief) of what is truly an American bonsai. It seems we are hovering around the fifty year mark for KNOWN bonsai that meet the aforementioned criteria I highlighted above. That makes for a finite number of possibilities, although that number is increasing at an impressive rate. Am I wrong in this position?
Is it time to back-track and ask the question:
What exactly constitutes American Bonsai?
I think we need to lay the ground work for this, so the discussion can be specifically and accurately discussed. Right now, although I am very interested and impressed by the comments, we seem to be discussing different aspects. Once a consensus is reached, I feel our discussion will be even more productive.
Or I can just "shut up".