ikebana and life in japan

a blog about ikebana and life in japan


10 Years of Ikebana

10 Years of Ikebana.

Sometimes I can’t believe that I have been studying ikebana for that long. What started out as a way to learn more about Japan and it’s culture has turned out to be part of my daily life. It has become part of my personal culture.

To celebrate my ongoing journey of studying ikebana, my teacher and I decided that we should have an exhibition. I knew that I would do more than one arrangement, but how many? Five? Eight? Ten? Ten seemed like the perfect number (10 years of ikebana -- 10 arrangements), and I could show the variety of styles and forms that Ohara-ryu has to offer. My teacher also invited her other students to participate, and 21 people volunteered to join the exhibition, each of them doing one arrangement each.

After a couple of months of preparation, the big day arrived. Several different newspapers and the local NHK news came to report on the event. With all of the publicity and word of mouth invitations, over 450 people came to the exhibition held on June 12-13. Neither I nor my teacher expected that many people to come, so we were very happy with the turnout!

Doing 10 different arrangements at one time was a new experience for me. I worked the night before for about 4 hours and the morning of for about 4 hours. I had also done some work the week leading up to the event; but because the flowers are living, I couldn’t do the arrangements too far in advance. It was a great experience, but I think that next time, one arrangement will be enough!

Have a look at what I did:
Rising Form   Calla Lilly, Green Ball, Leather Leaf
Inclining Form  Anthurium, Orchid, Fern
Upright Style  Hosta, Chrysanthemum, Prairie Gentian
Slanting Style  Enkianthus, Peony
Bunjin Arrangement  Loquat Tree, Casablanca Lily, Hydrangea
Rimpa Arrangement  Japanese Iris, Hydrangea, Song of Solomon, Japanese Maple, Aster
Landscape Moribana, Realistic Method  Cactus, Sand
Zokei, Sculptural Arrangement  Styrofoam
Hanamai  Allium, Monstera, Dried Kiwi Vine
One-Row Form  Moss
Zokei, Sculptural Arrangement  Paper Cups

A local TV program also came to document the exhibition and interview me about why I started to learn ikebana, and what I want to do in the future. Click here to view the video of the program -- sorry, but it’s all in Japanese.

(Maybe you noticed that there are 11 pictures? The last picture of the paper cups is something I did a few years ago. I wanted to show it, too. So, actually, I did 11 arrangements.)


Nora Kay said...

I enjoyed reading and seeing the pictures of your newest update. Very nice Son. You are doing a wonderful job with this. I liked the way you was able to include your video in the blog. I look forward to future post.

Stephen Coler said...

thanks, mom. glad that you enjoyed the blog! now, what will i post about next? you will just have to wait!

BSB said...

Hanamai,When seeing for the first time,I couldn't be understood.
But this exhibition was seen,and I thought one art.Wonderful!
It'll be also expected now.

Stephen Coler said...

thank you for your comment.
i like to think of it as living art.
i hope you come back sometime.