F Shoso Shimbo
Melbourne Ikebana Festival, 19 and 20 Sep 2020waikebana.blogspot.com

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Friday, 17 January 2020

Friday, 3 January 2020

Events Calendar

1 February 2020: New term starts - standard ikebana course in Murrumbeena. https://www.shoso.com.au/p/tuition.html 

12 February 2020: Japanese Aesthetics (From Ikebana to contemporary art), RMIT Short Courses. http://bit.ly/rmit-ikebana   

15 March 2020: Special Ikebana workshop at Kazari. 

24 - 27 May 2020: Shoso will present a paper, Nature in Ikebana: Beyond sustainability at the Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities, Tokyo. https://acah.iafor.org/acah2020/

12 September 2020: Shoan & Shoso will present Ikebana Dinner Show, Quaff Restaurant, Toorak. This is an opening event of the Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival 2020   

19 & 20 September 2020: Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival. https://waikebana.blogspot.com/

20 September 2020: Ikebana Performance with Paul Grabowsky at Melbourne Recital Centre. https://www.shoso.com.au/2019/10/ikebana-performance-with-paul-grabowsky.html


Sunday, 29 December 2019

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Shoso at International Conference, Tokyo

24 - 27 May 2020: Shoso Shimbo will present a paper, "Nature in Ikebana: Beyond sustainability" at the Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities, Toshi Center Hotel, Tokyo. https://acah.iafor.org/acah2020/

Monday, 9 December 2019

Ikebana Dinner Show

Watch elegant ikebana creations by artists Shoso Shimbo and Shoan Lo unfold before your eyes as you enjoy a three course meal at one of Melbourne's finest restaurants. Canapes on arrival and drinks are included. This is the first event of Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival 2020.

Image: Shoso Shimbo, Container: mbug

When: 7pm - 10pm, Saturday 12 September 2020
Where: Quaff Restaurant, 436 Toorak Rd, Toorak, Melbourne
Booking: Opening soon. Programs 2020.

Menu - indicative menu. Final menu will be announced in May 2020.


lemon salt & pepper calamari 
mizuna, spanish onion, sriracha aioli

master stock braised pork belly
nuoc nam, green mango salad, pickled chilli 

seared sumac tuna
wasabi fish roe, pickled daikon, soy ginger dressing

salad of watermelon, papaya and grapes
fresh ricotta, walnuts, sherry dressing



pan fried fish fillet
beetroot puree, fennel and herb salad, hazelnut oil

oven roasted lamb rump
baby tomato, yellow string beans, basil jus
toasted moroccan spices

chargrilled eye fillet steak 
cauliflower mash, watercress and radish salad, red wine jus

leek, spinach and fetta risotto

side salads included



vanilla panna cotta 
sugar glazed peach, granola crumb, peach syrup

warm banana and walnut brownie
raspberry coulis

individual pavlova
fresh strawberry and passionfruit 
hazelnut crumb

Optional menu extras:

Canapés on arrival bruschetta, salmon blinis, arancini


Monday, 2 December 2019

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Ikebana Calendar

27 November 2019: Flower Display, Koko Restaurant, Hotel Crown.

7 December 2019: Tea Flower for Urasenke, Lesley Kehoe Galleries.  

18 December 2019: Flower Display, Koko Restaurant, Hotel Crown.

Christmas - New Year: Flower Display, Koko Restaurant, Hotel Crown.

12 February 2020: Japanese Aesthetics (From Ikebana to contemporary art), RMIT Short Courses. http://bit.ly/rmit-ikebana   

24 - 27 May 2020: Shoso will present a paper, Nature in Ikebana: Beyond sustainability at the Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities, Tokyo. https://acah.iafor.org/acah2020/

19 & 20 September 2020: Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival. https://waikebana.blogspot.com/

20 September 2020: Ikebana Performance with Paul Grabowsky at Melbourne Recital Centre. 


Friday, 22 November 2019

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Ikebana Calendar

23 October 2019: RMIT Japanese Aesthetics.  http://bit.ly/JapaneseAesthetics

30 October 2019: Roku Gin Suntory Product Launch, Crown Hotel. Shoso will present an ikebana performance. 

30 October 2019: Ikebana Installation for Koko Japanese Restaurant, Crown Hotel. 

16 November 2019: Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival Committee Meeting

18 November 2019: Sogetsu Victoria branch workshop 

19 & 20 September 2020: Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival. https://waikebana.blogspot.com/

20 September 2020: Ikebana Performance with Paul Grabowsky at Melbourne Recital Centre


Wednesday, 9 October 2019

A New Japanese Aesthetics Course Starting Soon

23 October 2019: RMIT Japanese Aesthetics.  http://bit.ly/JapaneseAesthetics


Monday, 7 October 2019

Ikebana Performance with Paul Grabowsky

Booking will open soon. 


In the twentieth century, modernist art movements such as Cubism and Abstract Art moved from depicting the outside world as it is seen to a focus on the true reality of objects in the material world.

In Senno Kuden (1542), one of the early texts on ikebana (the art of Japanese flower arranging), Senno proposed that ikebana should be created based on the “omokage” of the floral and leaf materials in an arrangement. Omokage is not the image we see but is the conceptual essence of the materials. Just like some Cubist artists moved their focus from visual imitation to conceptual representation, ikebana artists move beyond the visual image of the flowers and through meditation, seek to grasp their essence.

Senno also thought that ikebana represents “onozukara naru sugata”, the essence of the universe. In the same way that Abstract Art can be seen to represent virtues such as order, purity, simplicity and spirituality, ikebana is searching for this essence of the universe, which I call Wa: Fluid Harmony in my performance.

Ikebana Performance

Inspired by Abstract Expressionism, artists like Georges Mathieu and Kazuo Shiraga used performance to show that the act of creating an artwork can be equally important as the final product.

In an Ikebana performance, the focus is on the process of creation as much as the end result. The artist has an image of the final destination, but there is no fixed plan. The artist, the material, the musicians and the music form a symbiotic relationship that is constantly transforming the whole composition of the work. Marcel Duchamp and Lewis Carroll were fascinated with these kinds of transformations that share an aspect of chess. 

The emerging work is a dynamic matrix, an unpredictable arrangement of symmetry and asymmetry that incorporates the influence of the music into its design and execution.

Shoso Shimbo, PhD 

Paul Grabowsky

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Ikebana Calendar

Ikebana Calendar Melbourne

29 September 2019: Ikebana Workshop at Kazari

30 September 2019: Deadline for submitting essay for International Journal of Ikebana Studies. Would you like to get your ikebana essay published?

23 October 2019: RMIT Japanese Aesthetics. http://bit.ly/JapaneseAesthetics

19 & 20 September 2020: Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival. https://waikebana.blogspot.com/

20 September 2020: Ikebana Performance with Paul Grabowsky at Melbourne Recital Centre


Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Shoso's Speech at the Opening of Wa 2019

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival. I’d particularly like to welcome our special guests, a representative of Dr Tien Kieu, Member of the Victorian Parliament, Daniel Nguyen, City of Yarra Councillor, Wadaiko Rindo, and Trish Nicholls of Ikebana International, but it’s great to see so many of you here and you are all very welcome.

All of you are part of this first international Ikebana festival. When I said we should call our next exhibition an ikebana festival, not an ikebana exhibition, some of my students laughed, saying “That sounds too big for us”. It is true that it was a bit ambitious, but we needed it and we achieved it thanks to you all.

Why did we need Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival?

Firstly, because it can be a very effective vehicle to promote ikebana. Ikebana is not very well recognised in Australia, although it was introduced here over 60 years ago. Many organisations organise exhibitions regularly and some of them have invited ikebana masters from Japan. That is wonderful, but I believe we need to do more to reach the wider community.

Secondly, contemporary conditions have changed. Many people see climate change and environmental sustainability as the biggest problems we face today. Ikebana has a role to play here. Ikebana can teach us that nature is not our resource but rather we are part of nature.

The history of Ikebana suggests that its role has been rather passive for five centuries. For instance, when the middle class emerged in the Edo period, ikebana developed simplified styles to accommodate their needs. When Western culture was introduced to Japan, Ikebana changed again to adjust to the social change. If society changes, ikebana changes. 

But right now may be a time when ikebana can lead contemporary culture. We, alone, cannot change the environment, but by promoting and supporting ikebana, we may be able to influence people to change their way of thinking about the environment. Ikebana has a role to promote a new attitude to nature, which is actually very ancient.

I will talk more about ikebana and nature tomorrow morning.

However, the journey to our inaugural Melbourne Ikebana Festival was not an easy one. We would not have been able to achieve this without the hard work of the team, our committee, sponsors, an anonymous sponsor, many volunteers and all the exhibitors. Thank you all very much.

In particular, I would like to thank the team, Shoan, Shoto, Shokai, Sue, Ryoko and Takako who spent so many hours for this event. Whenever there was a problem they had a solution. They are a very creative and dynamic team and this small budget international culture festival needed just this team. Every time we overcame our problems we realised that we were stronger.

We have overcome many hurdles. The first big hurdle was when a group of people decided to leave Wa, making us a very small group, simply too small to claim "Melbourne Ikebana Festival".

We decided to recruit exhibitors from outside and we successfully recruited wonderful exhibitors including 3 international and 2 interstate exhibitors. We really appreciate their being with us today and their belief in us.

The second was when we were unable to afford to invite a master teacher from Japan. The quote I received was simply too much for us, and I could not ask our students to support my plan.

We had to change our approach. Rather than asking external support, we had to do whatever we could do to make this event an international festival. We organised talks, demos, workshops, markets, and performances. We aimed to show many aspects of ikebana to promote it.

As a result, we were featured in some important media such as 3MBS. Wadaiko Rindo came to show their support for our hard work. International Society of Ikebana Studies decided to co-host a conference with us regularly. Consequently, many of our events have been sold out.

I feel that bringing this Melbourne Ikebana Festival to life was almost a miracle. That miracle was due to the power of Ikebana and power of people who believe in the significance of this event.


Thursday, 5 September 2019

Ikebana Conference at Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival

IMG_3329 (1)


International Society of Ikebana Studies, Regular Conference, September 2019

Shoso Shimbo, PhD talked about the rise of free style ikebana in 1920's as part of Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival.

When: 9 am, 1 September 2019
Where: Rosina Auditorium, Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne

Influence of the Western Modernism on Perception of Nature in Ikebana: A New Interpretation of Ikenobo Senno Kuden (1542) and Its Hidden Link to the Rise of Free Style in the Modern Japan

Western culture, in particular the Modernism Art Movement, has had an influence on Ikebana since the Meiji period (1868 - 1912). As such, Ikebana has undergone a cultural transformation that is closely related to a redefinition of Ikebana, incorporating a reconsideration of the attitude to nature in Japan. This study focuses on works by Suido Yamane (1893 - 1966), Mirei Shigemori (1896 -1975) and Hiroshi Teshigahara (1927 - 2001) who were particularly conscious of the influence of Western culture on Ikebana.

My talk today is a small part of my research on influence of the Western culture on Ikebana, and it focuses on Suido Yamane who proposed free style arrangements in the 1920’s for the first time in the history of Ikebana. I would like to focus on the relationship between Ikenobo Senno Kuden in the 16th century and emergence of free style Ikebana in the 1920’s.

There is an argument that, in modern Japan under the influence of Western culture, there was a shift in the view of what Ikebana symbolically represents – from universal structural orders to life energy. However, these external and internal approaches were both mentioned in the classic Ikebana text, Ikenobo Senno Kuden (1542). This concept of Ikebana as a representation of life energy did not begin with the reformers in 1920’s & 1930’s, it has been around since the early stage of development in Ikebana and deserves more attention.

This study suggests that with encountering Western culture, Ikebana artists and theorists became aware of the differences in the perception of nature in the West and in Japan. In their effort to incorporate Western attitudes to nature into Ikebana, they needed to reconsider the essence of Ikebana, and develop new theories on Ikebana. This study also suggests that those new theories are often based on Eastern philosophy.


Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Thank you for giving us a full house!

Thank you for giving us a full house!

Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival presented Ikebana artist Shoso Shimbo in concert with the Grigoryan Brothers on 31 August 2019. Shoso created 2 large Ikebana works in one hour with assistance from Shoan, Shokai and Shoto. Thank you all for your great support.

Shoso will work with a master jazz pianist, Paul Grabowsky on 20 September 2020 as part of Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival. Details will be announced in Shoso's website shortly.