ikebana and life in japan

a blog about ikebana and life in japan


Fall Ikebana

In ikebana, it's traditional to do arrangements a little ahead of the actual season around you. Summer is still in full force here with daytime highs in the 90s (30s for you Celsius people). One word -- hot.

This morning, when I got to school, the teacher's room was already in the upper 80s -- hot!! By the time I left, it was in the lower 90s -- HOT!!! Most Japanese schools, especially schools in rural areas, don't have air conditioners. Japanese people are famous for "gaman", endurance, patience, grin and bear it. Everyone talks about how hot it is, but life continues as usual -- with the sweat dripping.

To help with the "gaman", people think about the coming cooler temperatures of fall and the beautiful fall colors. Fall foods have begun to be put out in the grocery stores, there are commercials on TV with beautiful fall foliage, travel magazines with special destinations for fall are out -- all to help one look forward to the coming season.

To help you look forward to the coming season, here is my first fall arrangement of the year.

Pampas Grass, Cockscomb, Patrinia Scabiosifolia
The pampas grass is still a little green, but it has a beautiful sheen to it. I gently bent the stem and created a soft curve that created an open space on the right side of the arrangement. It was the perfect place for the tall stem of cockscomb and a tall stem of the Patrinia Scabiosifolia, the yellow flower.

The arrangement in the glow of the moonlight.
(At least that's what I was trying to achieve with the lighting.
It also helped to bring out the bumps in the screen I use to take the pictures!)
 I placed this arrangement near my door, and it is one of the first things I see when I enter my apartment. It helps to cool me down after a hot and sweaty day at school. It also makes me excited for the coming fall season and all the arrangements I will get to do.

As always, feel free to leave a comment! Which picture do you like best? What's your favorite season? What do you look forward to about fall?


Nora Kay said...

I love the thought of thinking about Fall in the hot month of August. This definitely gives us something to look forward to. Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the cockscomb. You do not see that a lot here and it has such a rich red color to it. I like the picture with the shadow from the moon. Very creative thinking.

Stephen Coler said...

Thanks, mom! I know how much you like fall, too. I always look forward to the warm fall colors that cover the mountainsides all around Hanamaki.
There are also yellow and orange cockscomb, but I think the red are the most beautiful.