May 18, 2013

Ikenobo Exhibition

Ikenobo, which is the name of a school of ikebana (flower arrangement). Ikenobo was established over 550 years ago, and its traditions have been passed on from teacher to student throughout the centuries. Ikenobo has various chapters around the world, and its headquarters are in Kyoto.

In early May, an exhibit titled "Origin of Ikebana: Ikenobo" was held in Mitsukoshi Department's flagship store in Nihonbashi. (According to the Ikenobo Association's official website, Ikebana's origins lie in Ikenobo, and Ikenobo itself began as a Buddhist floral offering.) There were flower arrangements by dozens of students and instructors from chapters all over Japan.

Because we are dealing with live flowers, the exhibit lasted only six days. It was quite obvious that the majority of visitors were women over 60.

One of my favorites, an arrangement containing blueberry, hydrangea, seagrape, and milkbush.

Crape-myrtle berries, lotus, and stonecrops.

The tangled plant reads "snake leek" in Japanese, but I couldn't verify its English name. Also kalanchoe and geranium.

Laburnum, bulrush, and masdevallia. 

Masdevallia were featured quite frequently in the arrangements.

 An interesting interlude before the start of a different section.

There were so many beautiful flowers, but for people like me who think of Ikebana as merely flowers stuck in vases, it was the inclusion of unexpected arrangements such as above that truly breathed life into the exhibit.

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