ikebana and life in japan

a blog about ikebana and life in japan


芸術の秋 -- Autumn of Art

Here in Japan, autumn is often refereed to as 芸術の秋 (geijutsu no aki), or autumn of art. On November 3rd, it is national Culture Day, a day for the promotion of culture and the love of freedom and peace.  Many towns and cities have a city wide culture exhibition where people can show different works of art they have created, including Japanese calligraphy, bonsai, ikebana, water color and oil paintings, and other traditional Japanese arts.

Every year, I take part in the city culture festival here in Hanamaki. This year, I teamed up with another ikebana student to do a large arrangement. At first, we had some beautiful black leaves and purple carnations. We thought the combination was beautiful, a little dark but also a little colorful with the carnations. We decided to keep it in that color palate and create a One-Row Arrangement using 3 white vases. We took up the space that was reserved for the both of us, so it ended up being quite large and noticeable. We both liked the finished product, and I think the people who came to the exhibition enjoyed looking at it, also.

One-Row Style -- Black Leaf, Carnation (5 varieties), Rainbow Dracaena, and Japanese Bitter Orange spray-painted black

There is also a prefectural ikebana exhibition held around the same time each year in the prefecture's capital, Morioka. I like to do something a little different for the one in Morioka. This year, I wanted to use autumn colors, so I went to the local flower shop to see what they had to offer. I found some leaves that had a very beautiful back of fiery red. Usually, the backs of the leaves are not used, but I couldn't pass up showing off the beautiful red of the Croton leaves. I found some red branches to go along with the leaves, and I began to play around, trying different ways to display the leaves and branches. The resulting piece, a Free Style Arrangement with movement.

View from the front

View from above (sorry, i couldn't figure out how to rotate the picture on here.)

And then a couple of weeks ago, the Morioka Chapter of the Ohara School of Ikebana held it's 65th Anniversary Exhibition in Morioka. Around 280 people, including children and adults, participated by doing an arrangement. I volunteered to help out and spent two days helping out with the preparation and two days greeting and showing people around the exhibition. A total of 7,500 people came to the exhibition, exceeding the number of people who we thought would come by a very, VERY large margin. It was a fun four days, but very labor intensive and busy. It was a very good experience for me, because a large exhibition like that doesn't happen that often. Here's the arrangement I did for the 65th Anniversary Exhibition.

View from the front

Circular Form, view from above
 November has been another busy month, but it was filled with flowers, culture, and a lot of fun!


Nora Kay said...

Everything was very beautful Son. Each one had their own beauty and you really did a wonderful job. After being there with you earlier and it really gives me a bigger appreciation of all you do. I am sure they are very happy that you are part of it all. Great Job.
Love You, Mom

Nora Kay said...

While I was viewing your pictures and comments I was thinking, I sure would like to get a better view of the pictures. I never thought about clicking on to them. They are even more beautiful when I can see them better. The last arraingment was so pretty in the center. Once again, wonderful job.
Love You, Mom

Tawnya said...

Beautiful Stephen! Your leaves are always so perfect. I especially like the contrast of your two circular arrangements. Thanks for sharing!

Hisako said...