In an effort to teach all the international students about Japanese Customs and Culture, TUFS offers (free) mini-courses. Friday’s course was Ikebana, or Japanese flower arranging. Ikebana is also known as Kado, which is counted as one of the three classical Japanese arts of refinement, along with kodo for incense appreciation and chado for tea and the tea ceremony. More than simply putting flowers in a container, ikebana is a disciplined art form in which nature and humanity are brought together. Contrary to the idea of large, multicolored arrangements, ikebana often emphasizes other areas of the plant, such as its stems and leaves, and puts emphasis on shape, line, and form. (Thanks Wikipedia for the facts!)

The class was quite small, as they only had flowers for about 9 of us. We looked at some examples of Ikebana and the instructors briefly discussed the history.  We each were given a bowl, a small weight with metal spikes (to attached the flowers to), flowers, and scissors. They then covered the weight in water and…

….they just let us go! The only instructions that we were given was to leave room for the wind. Essentially, they didn’t want us to overcrowd the flowers and to make use of the empty space. As we assembled our arrangements, the two instructors walked around giving us different ideas and guiding us to our final products.  It was an incredibly interesting, educational, relaxing, and enjoyable experience!  Definitely doing it again!


My Ikebana


MEXT Research Student’s Ikebana


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