ikebana and life in japan

a blog about ikebana and life in japan


Me -- In the News!

I had the pleasure to be featured on the front page of a prefecture informational newspaper, Ma cherie. It goes out to over 150,000 different households throughout Iwate.

A couple of weeks ago, the reporter and a photographer came to my apartment to do the story on ikebana. I did a couple of fall inspired arrangements. One was a basic arrangement that a beginner would learn to do, and the other was a free style arrangement that expressed the feeling of "otsukimi" -- a special day in September where people enjoy looking at the full moon on a clear fall evening.

We spent the afternoon doing the arrangements and then taking the pictures. Trying to get the best angle and lighting for each picture was a lot more difficult than I had expected; but, it was a lot of fun! I think both the reporter and the photographer learned a bit about ikebana and how it is more than just cutting and arranging flowers -- it is an art. There is a reason each flower is cut to that specific length and where and how it is placed in the arrangement. We all had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs!

the page without the advertisements

Here's the link to the full newspaper.

Thanks, Ma cherie!


Fall Ikebana in a Vase Using Quince

Quince is one of the most frequently arranged flowering branches used in ikebana. It can be used throughout the entire year -- when it flowers in the spring and when it bears fruit in the fall. Quince branches spread out wildly in all directions and often crisscross.  It's important to show off these characteristics when arranging it.

I was lucky enough to get a few branches of fruit-bearing quince from my teacher's garden this week. It had a large, green fruit near the bass of the branch, perfect for use in a vase. I arranged the main branch extending out to the right of the vase. I added another branch that extended out to the front, crossing some of the smaller branches of the main branch. Finally, I added a branch that bent down, extending the movement of the quince into the space below the mouth of the vase. I trimmed off almost all of the leaves of the branches, leaving only a few to help direct the eye to the different lines of the quince. I didn't want to detract from the beauty of the quince, so I added a single stem of cockscomb to complete the arrangement.

Fruit-bearing Quince, Cockscomb
I love the vivid red of the cockscomb. The perfect color for a fall arrangement. And the red near the green fruit is a nice contrast.

As always, feel free to leave a comment!