F 2018 ~ Shoso Shimbo
Melbourne Ikebana Festival, 10 and 11 Sep 2022ikebanafestival.com

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Events Calendar

26 December 2018: Koko Japanese Restaurant, Crown Hotel, Melbourne - New Years' Flower
17 January 2019: Overture, Kew - Flowers for a model room
2 February 2019: Murrumbeena - Shoso Shimbo's Ikebana courses: A new term starts
27 February 2019: Melbourne Recital Centre - Ikebana performance with live music. Tickets on sale now. Please book early. http://bit.ly/FlowerWay
27 - 31 March 2019: Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show


Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Friday, 23 November 2018

Monday, 29 October 2018

Shoso at Two Contemporary Art Exhibitions

Shoso Shimbo's works have been selected for the two prestigious contemporary art exhibitions.

21 September - 6 November 2018: Biennale of Australian Art. Shoso was selected as one of the top 150 artists of the nation for the biennale. Shoso’s artist residency is form 13 to 19 October. http://www.boaa.net.au Visit Ballarat and enjoy this great art festival and see Shoso’s installation at the Mining Exchange.

28 October - 9 December 2018: Yarra Valley Arts / Yering Station Sculpture Exhibition and Awards 2018. Shoso Shimbo was selected as a finalist for the award. https://www.yering.com/visit-yering-station/art-gallery/


Friday, 26 October 2018

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

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Monday, 22 October 2018

Events Calendar

21 September to 6 November 2018: Biennale of Australian Art. Shoso was selected as one of the top 150 artists of the nation for the biennale. Shoso’s artist residency is form 13 to 19 October. http://www.boaa.net.au Visit Ballarat and enjoy this great art festival and see Shoso’s installation at the Mining Exchange.

28 October 2018: Ikebana worksop at Kazari, Prahran. https://www.kazari.com.au/workshops. A number of great Ikebana containers will be available on and after this day. Please visit Kazari.

28 October - 9 December 2018: Yarra Valley Arts / Yering Station Sculpture Exhibition and Awards 2018. Shoso Shimbo was selected as a finalist for the award. https://www.yering.com/visit-yering-station/art-gallery/


Sunday, 21 October 2018

Shoso's work at BOAA till 6 November 2018

Plastic Tainai Kuguri by Shoso Shimbo at The Mining Exchange, Ballarat as part of BOAA till 6 November 2018.

This work focuses on the issue of plastic pollution. The installation, made of plastic waste, invites viewers to interact with the work and was inspired by the Tainai Kuguri (passing through the womb) in Japan. Tainai Kuguri is a rite of passage through a site such as a cave or the interior of a Buddhist statue symbolising rebirth and a fresh start. 



Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Shoso at BOAA

Bring your plastic wastes (plastic bags, wrapping etc.) and attach them to Shoso’s installation, Plastic Tainai Kuguri at BOAA.

Just meditate how much we produce plastic wastes in a day (or in a week), and imagine a better way while walking through a Tainai (womb).

When: 10am - 3pm, 13 - 19 October 2018
Where: The Mining Exchange, Ballarat
Booking for School Group: shososhimbo@gmail.com

Shoso Shimbo at BOAA: http://bit.ly/ShosoBOAA


Sunday, 7 October 2018

Ikebana Workshops by Shoso Shimbo Group Instructors

Our Ikebana workshops were FULLY BOOKED and very successful at Wa: Ikebana Exhibition, Abbotsford Convent, on 7 October 2018.
Thank you, our instructors - Shoan Lo, Shoen Loo, Toko Tazawa, Aileen Duke, Akemi Suzuki & Pulcheria Reeves. 

Balwyn North: Shoan Lo - www.shoanlo.net
Camberwell: Shoen Loo - Instagram: ikebanajenny
Malvern: Toko Tazawa - https://tokoikebana.com
Mornington Peninsula: Aileen Duke - Instagram: eclipse.ikebana
Mulgrave: Akemi Suzuki - https://ikebanaakemi.wixsite.com/mysite
Murrumbeena: Shoso Shimbo - www.shoso.com.au
St Kilda: Pulcheria Reeves - Instagram: designbloom.melb

We received wonderful feedback from our participants!
Thank you all the participants. We hope you will continue learning Ikebana.   


Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Monday, 17 September 2018

Special Ikebana Workshops

All of our instructors (many of them are newly qualified teachers) are ready to teach you. We spent a few weeks reviewing the basic styles and practicing demos. If you are interested in Ikebana but have not done it, this is a great opportunity to try it at a very reasonable rate.   

Abbotsford Convent, 7 October 2018.
Book tickets for the workshops: http://bit.ly/IkebanaWorkshops

Note: Nine am session is only for men.     


Monday, 10 September 2018

Ikebana for a Medical Reception

Shoso Shimbo and his students will exhibit their works at Wa.
6 & 7 October 2018: Wa Ikebana Exhibition and Workshops.

Sogetsu School
The Sogetsu School of Ikebana was founded in 1927 by Sofu Teshigahara.
He felt that the strict rules of traditional Ikebana did not allow for individual expression, so after studying and mastering traditional Ikebana he broke away to develop his own school.
The underlying philosophy of the Sogetsu school is summed up in a famous saying by Sofu: ‘Sogetsu Ikebana can be done by anyone, anywhere, anytime, with any kind of material.’
This inclusive and innovative approach to the study allows us to express ourselves freely through our arrangements as we are not restricted by fixed styles, unlike the more traditional ikebana schools.
Sogetsu Ikebana incorporates a wide range of styles, from home arrangements and shop window displays, to large scale works in a variety of venues. Sogetsu styles stimulate us, provide us with beauty, and share the healing powers of plants.
Sofu Teshigahara was the first headmaster (Iemoto) of the Sogetsu Ikebana school.  His daughter Kasumi, a gifted artist, was the second headmaster from 1979 until she died in 1980 at the age of 47. Her elder brother, film director Hiroshi, took over. The current headmaster is Hiroshi’s second daughter and Sofu's granddaughter, Akane Teshigahara, who took over in 2001.
The Sogetsu school was one of the first to have English textbooks. There are currently 49 branches of Sogetsu in Japan (three in Tokyo) and 120 branches and study groups worldwide.

Shoso Shimbo
Dr Shoso Shimbo is a highly accomplished Ikebana artist, sculptor and teacher. He studied Ikebana under the third Sogetsu Head Master, Hiroshi Teshigahara and also has an MA in Japanese Studies, a Master of Fine Art and PhD in Education. Shoso is a qualified garden designer (Japan Horticultural Society), specialising in Japanese gardens. 

Shoso’s skills, expertise and mastery have been recognised in the many awards and acknowledgements he has received over the years. Winner of the Gold Award at the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show, he was also awarded the 2017 Arnold Bloch Leibler Prize in the Yarra Valley Arts/Yering Station Sculpture Awards. He was selected by Belle Magazine as one of Australia’s Top Floral Designers and is a finalist for the Yering Station Sculpture Awards 2018. 
Shoso was a featured presenter at the Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities 2018 in Kobe, Japan. He has won an artist residency in the Biennale of Australian Art (BOAA) for October 2018. 
His recent commissions include a public work of art for the 2015 Archibald Award Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ballarat and the Wye River Project as part of the 2016 Lorne Sculpture Biennale.
Shoso is a director of the International Society of Ikebana Studies and the Ikebana Gallery Award. He teaches a short course in Japanese Aesthetics at Melbourne’s RMIT University, along with Sogetsu Ikebana courses with students throughout the year. He has written for Ikebana and contemporary art publications and is a regular contributor to the International Journal of Ikebana Studies.
Shoso Shimbo Group
Many of Shoso’s students have qualified as ikebana teachers and begun teaching and working as ikebana artists. His students are also well represented in ikebana awards and floral exhibitions. Akemi Suzuki and Shoan Lo each exhibited large works in the shop window competition at the 2018 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, while Sophi Ye won first prize in the category of wedding table arrangement. 
Shoso’s students Shoen Loo, Elena Iampolski, Madeleine Duke, Kim Ta, Pulcheria Reeves and Aileen Duke have won Ikebana Gallery Awards, a prestigious international online competition for students of ikebana. 

Contact: Shoso Shimbo
E: shososhimbo@gmail.com
W: shoso.com.au

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Events Calendar

August 2018: The winners of Ikebana Gallery Award 2018 were announced. http://ikebanaaustralia.blogspot.com.au

6 & 7 September 2018 (to be confirmed): Shoso will create 7 arrangements including a large work for a display suite for a new development in Barenya Court, Kew. This is like a Shoso’s solo exhibition! Volunteer assistants welcome.

7 September 2018: Shoso will conduct a workshop at Holmsglen.

21 September to 6 November 2018: Biennale of Australian Art. Shoso was selected as one of the top 150 artists of the nation for the biennale. Shoso’s artist residency is form 13 to 19 October. http://www.boaa.net.au

6 & 7 October 2018: Wa Ikebana Exhibition and Workshops. https://www.facebook.com/wa.ikebana/
There is a workshop session only for men. Encourage your friend or family to join. http://bit.ly/IkebanaWorkshops

24 October 2018: A new term of Shoso’s course, From Ikebana to Contemporary Art at RMIT Short Courses will start. http://bit.ly/1IFmuyl

28 October 2018: Ikebana worksop at Kazari, Prahran. http://www.kazari.com.au/. A number of great Ikebana containers will be available on and after this day. Please visit Kazari.

28 October - 9 December 2018: Yarra Valley Arts / Yering Station Sculpture Exhibition and Awards 2018. Shoso Shimbo was selected as a finalist for the award. www.yering.com/artgallery 


Friday, 3 August 2018

Events Calendar

August 2018: Finalists and the winner of Ikebana Gallery Award 2018 will be announced. http://ikebanaaustralia.blogspot.com.au 

15 August 2018: A new term of Shoso’s course, From Ikebana to Contemporary Art at RMIT Short Courses will start. http://bit.ly/1IFmuyl

16 & 17 August 2018: Shoso will create 7 arrangements including a large work for a display suite for a new development in Barenya Court, Kew. This is like a Shoso’s solo exhibition! Volunteer assistants welcome.

21 September to 6 November 2018: Biennale of Australian Art. Shoso was selected for the biennale. http://www.boaa.net.au

6 & 7 October 2018: Wa Ikebana Exhibition and Workshops. https://www.facebook.com/wa.ikebana/
There is a workshop session only for men. Encourage your friend or family to join. https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?embed&eid=404074


Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Monday, 23 July 2018

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Monday, 25 June 2018

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Daily Meditation: Events Calendar

29 June 2018: Ikebana workshop at Star of the Sea Collage, Brighton. Ikebana in School Program: http://bit.ly/ikebana-in-schools

30 June 2018: Deadline for Ikebana Gallery Award 2018. http://ikebanaaustralia.blogspot.com.au

29 July 2018: Ikebana worksop at Kazari, Christmas arrangements, Prahran. http://www.kazari.com.au/

15 August 2018: A new term of Shoso’s course, From Ikebana to Contemporary Art at RMIT Short Courses will start. http://bit.ly/1IFmuyl

21 September to 6 November 2018: Biennale of Australian Art. Shoso was selected for the biennale. http://www.boaa.net.au

6 & 7 October 2018: Wa Ikebana Exhibition and Workshops. Shoso's students will run a number of ikebana workshops at a special price.  


Friday, 8 June 2018

Monday, 4 June 2018

Ikebana & Competition

While we try to promote Ikebana Gallery Award (IGA), we sometimes hear the statements like “Our master said that Ikebana should not be judged,” “Why do we have to compete?” There is some truth in those statements. After all, everyone is allowed to have their own beliefs or philosophies. As long as they don’t harass us or act unethically online, we can just ignore them and ask them to leave us alone. If they are persistent, all we can do is to ask them to read the mission statements on our website.

However, there are some points to make about such a narrow view on judging and competition in ikebana.

1. All of the three major ikebana schools (Ikenobo, Ohara & Sogetsu) are running their own ikebana competitions today. They recognise the benefits of competitions in ikebana. But we have to note that they are “the winners” in the field of ikebana in which there are over 1000 schools. Some of the other schools may insist that those winners’ attitudes are not always right and may even develop a negative attitude to competitions in ikebana. Instead of attacking those large schools, some of them may attack us, as we are a small and easy target at the moment.

2. Historically, competitions have always existed in the development of ikebana. However, the concept of competition in ikebana is not the same as those in contemporary professional sports, for example, where winning is highly and sometimes overly valued. 

In principle, ikebana is an inner pursuit. Our main focus is internal growth rather than what expressed externally and therefore not comparable. Accordingly, even after Western Modernism influenced ikebana in 1920’s and 1930’s, competitions that followed the style of Western art were not always well perceived. Some competitions were totally unsuccessful. History of ikebana competitions is a fascinating research topic but I won’t go into more detail here. 

Seeing some ikebana competitions being managed properly and getting appropriate attention today, however, I personally feel that ikebana practitioners are mature enough (or Westernised enough) to enjoy friendly competitions. I am confident that IGA will present a positive case study and will prove to be historically significant as a researcher has already mentioned. Everyone is a winner in IGA.

3. Ikebana discourse overseas is sometimes different from those in Japan. I hear such statement as “ikebana should be this and that” just too often. Some overseas ikebana masters (and their followers) can be more authoritative than masters in Japan. They tend to mystify ikebana. They are often angry and prone to criticise others. In addition they hate competitions. We may need to keep away from those “masters”.

4. As to the benefits and necessities of IGA, please read the following writings. http://ikebanaaustralia.blogspot.com/p/faq.html


Thursday, 17 May 2018

Ikebana Today No.70 (The Last Article)

I have been talking about the two Ikebana booms in Japanese history. The first one occurred in the late Edo period and its hit product was Seika, and the second one occurred in the Meiji & Taisho era and its hit product was Moribana. Both of them made Ikebana significantly easy to practice.

The third Ikebana boom occurred after the war. At the centre of the boom was Sofu Teshigahara (1900 – 1979), the founder of Sogetsu school. He criticised many aspects of traditional Ikebana, in particular the way Ikebana was taught. He insisted that Ikebana is art, an individual expression by each person and copying master’s works is not an artistic way of creating Ikebana. His approach was the application of Western modernism to Ikebana. Like many other examples of cultural transformation in Japan, his approach was to modify the new culture and preserve the old culture as you see fit. Although his approach was supported by a great number of people over the years, it has been criticised in many ways and I think an historical evaluation of his work will be made in the near future.

Actually, the Sogetsu school of Ikebana became more interesting for me after Hiroshi Teshigahara took over in 1980’s. However, I cannot talk about Hiroshi’s work here, because this series of essays has to end this month due to editorial circumstances at Dengon Net. I really appreciate the great support I have received from the publisher and editors of Dengon Net. I was so fortunate to be able to talk about anything I liked without worrying about readers’ feedback. Writing essays is really fun and an easy thing for me to do and I could keep writing much longer. But it may be a good idea to take a break here and look for a new direction. Thank you very much, staff and readers of Dengon Net. Thank you also Julie, my partner and Pat, my mother in law for checking my English essays for such a long time, over nearly ten years.


Ikebana Today No.69

Ikebana booms in Japan were socio-cultural phenomenon. Looking into their history helps understand Japanese society better. I hope some will investigate them in a more academic context. Such research may also reveal the secrets of how to succeed in business. One of them seems to be simply providing innovative and attractive products responding to clients’ needs. 

I’d like to make a few comments on the Ikebana boom in the Meiji (1868 - 1912) to Taisho era (1912 - 1926) . Prior to this boom Ikebana was taught in private. Teachers did not set the tuition fees, and the students payed according to their financial situations. I sometimes think that might be a good system. I set my tuition fees rather low so that I can train as many competent qualified teachers as possible in a shortest period of time. However, I may change my approach shortly. Those who join the class because of rather cheap fees don’t usually complete the long journey of learning Ikebana. Setting fees low does not necessary help achieve my goal. Anyway, it was after this boom that a group lesson in a classroom was introduced with set fees.

Traditionally most Ikebana teachers were male. However, number of female teachers increased significantly during this boom. Reason? A large number of Japanese men died during the Sino-Japanese War (1894 - 95) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904 - 05). Becoming an Ikebana teacher was attractive, but often one of the limited choices for some war widows.   

It is also notable that kenzan played a important role in this boom. It seems that it was invented during Meiji and had been reinvented after that. As I mentioned last month, Moribana was the hit product after Taisho era. Its easiness and popularity depend largely on kenzan.   

This is a work I made for my client at their home party. Rather unusual combination of materials made this work interesting. In April I’ll present a paper at the International Academic Forum in Kobe, and at a university in Romania. That must be a good time to see sakura.      


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Keeper of Water: At the Lorne Sculpture Biennale 2018

Originally inspired by Daniel McCormick’s watershed sculpture, this project, a storm water filtering dam, is a small scale environmental sculpture using organic materials. It symbolises a desire to protect our waterways. The aim of this kind of organic dam is to slow, filter and cleanse the water (through sand bags, willow branches and charcoal) before it joins the river. Being made of organic and biodegradable materials, the sculpture would eventually become a part of its environment. This project encourage community members to join in production, learning how to recycle natural wastes to create a practical solution to environmental problems.


Sunday, 25 March 2018

Sea snakes: Trash vortexes at the Lorne Sculpture 2018

Go and see Shoso Shimbo's floating & flashing sculpture, Sea snakes at the Lorne Sculpture Biennale, 17 March - 2 April 2018. Sea snakes is one of the two entries by Shoso and was supported by so many people. Thank you, Ming Loo, Hide Hanashima, students of Star of the Sea college, Shoso's ikebana students, David McKenzie, Graeme Wilkie and many more.       


Saturday, 10 March 2018

Ikebana Today No.68

I’d like to talk about the second Ikebana boom in the Meiji and Taisho era. Any boom occurs as a result of multiple factors. There is no simple explanation about their causes. However, it is clear that this boom occurred among young women. What did they want from Ikebana? We should look into their social conditions. But I have not come across any research about this potentially excellent topic. The following is, therefore, my own hypothesis.

Who were those behind the boom? Considering that the number of housewives (stay-at-home wives) increased only after the Taisho era, it was young unmarried women who took Ikebana as a training to become a housewife.

The Meiji government’s aim was to increase wealth and power of the State. In each household a woman was expected to be a good and wise housewife. Family law in the Meiji era made it difficult for women to choose other options. Marriage was in their best interest and it was natural for them to seek the best possible opportunities.

An important factor to consider is that womens' colleges were established in the Meiji era, and Ikebana and tea ceremony were often thought as unofficial subjects in many of them. As a result, the general perception was that intelligent ladies from women’s college can do Ikebana! People started to think that you are a lady if you can do Ikebana. Ikebana provided a better marriage opportunity for women. In other words, Ikebana was successful in gaining branding and learning it was a good investment.

There were some innovations in Ikebana that contributed to the boom in this period. The most significant was the promotion of Moribana by the Ohara school. Moribana is an arrangement made in a shallow container using Kenzan or Shippo. In essence, it simplified Ikebana. Its simple designs allow almost anyone to make Ikebana. In addition, it was suitable for the Western style housing that start to become popular that time and it allowed the use of new types of flowers that came from the West. It really focused on the enjoyable aspects of Ikebana. No wonder it became so popular! Even today, Moribana is the style that many Ikebana students learn first at Ikebana schools.

This is an arrangement I made for Hanabishi restaurant in Melbourne. I really enjoy working for this client. In March I will make 2 environmental works for the Lorne Sculpture 2018 and I’ll talk about environmental art at their conference. Lorne Sculpture is the largest outdoor art festival in Victoria and a number of international artists and researchers participate in this event. Please join us.


Thursday, 1 March 2018

Abstract of Shoso's presentation at the Asian Conference for Arts & Humanities 2018, Kobe, Japan

The ongoing destruction of our environment by man-made pollution continues to push the world toward catastrophic consequences. The roots of some of these problems are often traced to the rise of Western modernity as well as the Western attitude to nature, where nature is objectified and exploited as a resource.

In response, we are seeing the emergence of an eco-centric perspective in contemporary art. Environmental artists have been using various approaches from focusing on raising awareness to searching for solutions or setting out a plan for social transformation.

Some of them have noted that certain non-Western cultures could inform a valuable shift in aesthetic experience. In many Indigenous cultures, nature often centres the members of a group by providing boundaries of behaviour, as well as access to sacred realms of enlightenment. While the idealisation of Indigenous cultures has been condemned, embracing them in art practice has generated not only fasciation (e.g. Hayao Miyazaki & Haruki Murakami) but also effective preservation of nature.

Can ikebana, as an art form with its origin in ancient Japan, provide any insights for contemporary environmental artists in their efforts to transform values and aesthetic sensibility?

In the 16th century, ikebana was defined as the symbolic representation of nature. It developed into an art form encompassing spiritual training in the pursuit of the harmonious coexistence of human beings and nature, regarding humans as part of nature.

However, the ikebana reform movement in 1930’s under the influence of the Western modernism declared ikebana to be only a form of art. Contemporary ikebana is still under the influence of that reformation, but a re-examination of the traditional values of ikebana might bring it into line with the aims of environmental art.

At Hanabishi Restaurant, Melbourne


Monday, 19 February 2018

Events Calendar

4 March 2018: Ikebana Workshop at Kazari. http://www.kazari.com.au/

17 March to 2 April 2018: Lorne Sculpture Biennale. Shoso was selected for the biennale.http://www.lornesculpture.com/index.php

21 to 25 March 2018: Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Shoan and Akemi from Shoso’s class will exhibit their works at the Shop Window Design Competition. http://melbflowershow.com.au

Friday 23 March 2018: Shoso will talk about environmental art at the Lorne Sculpture 2018. http://www.lornesculpture.com/speakers.php

30 March 2018: Shoso will conduct an Ikebana demo as a featured presenter at the Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities 2018, The International Academic Forum, Kobe, Japan. https://iafor.org

9 May 2018: Ikebana to Contemporary Art starts at RMIT Short Courses.

12 May 2018: Ikebana Workshop at Made in Japan.

21 September to 6 November 2018: Biennale of Australian Art. Shoso was selected for the biennale. http://www.boaa.net.au


Friday, 16 February 2018

Learning Ikebana with Shoso

Learning Ikebana with Shoso

a. One (or two) hour workshop will be held at Made in Japan in South Melbourne, Kazari in Prahran and other organisations. Details will be announced in our News page or Facebook. Like https://www.facebook.com/ikebanaaustralia/ for the latest news.

b. Short Course. Japanese Aesthetics: From Ikebana to Contemporary Art at RMIT Short Courses has 4 intakes in a year. http://bit.ly/1IFmuyl

c. Certificate Courses. Shoso helps you obtain Ikebana certificates and a teaching diploma that allows you to work as an Ikebana artist. All classes are held in Murrumbeena.  

This is normally the cheapest way to learn Ikebana, but please read terms and conditions carefully. 

d. Ikebana in School. Ikebana workshops for secondary students.  http://bit.ly/ikebana-in-school

e. Customised Ikebana workshops. Private or group workshops can be organised according to your needs. http://www.shoso.com.au/p/workshop.html


Monday, 5 February 2018

Ikebana Today 67

How has contemporary Ikebana became what it is now? It might be timely to briefly revisit the history of Ikebana. This time I’ll focus on the social conditions of the Ikebana booms in the history of Japan. Ikebana booms occurred at three times; in the late Edo period, in the Meiji era, and after the war. Why did Ikebana become popular at certain points in history?

The simple style Tatehana first appeared in the Muromachi period (1336 - 1573). Tatehana gradually evolved into the Rikka style, which reached its peak in the early Edo period. Up to around this period, Ikebana was practiced by limited number of people, mainly upper class members of the society. The majority of people could not afford to do Ikebana due to the fact that society was unstable. 

But Japan experienced an exceptionally peaceful time in the Edo period, when there were no major wars for about 260 years (1603 - 1868). No other nations have enjoyed such a long period of peace in human history. Generally Japanese people regard the Edo period as a dark period of feudal society prior to the Meiji Restoration that modernised Japan. However, the Edo period was a really special period when the Japanese economy and culture developed significantly due to this social stability. 

It was probably during the Edo period that Japanese common women first began to enjoy leisure activities. One of their interests was flowers. Unfortunately, however, typical Ikebana that time was Rikka, a sophisticated but extremely complicated style, which normally requires a few days to create. Naturally ordinary women could not afford to spend that much time.

Then, someone bravely simplified Rikka and developed the Seika style. All you need to create Seika is to fix three main branches or flowers, representing earth, heaven and people, and create an asymmetrical triangle. This was a simple but elegant new style of Ikebana. It was a phenomenal success, creating a large number of Ikebana students and new schools. That was the first Ikebana boom in Japan. The lesson is to identify a new need, develop a product to meet it, and your business will succeed. Actually each of the three Ikebana booms has its own special style to sell.

This year I’ll talk about environmental art at the Lorne Sculpture and at the International Academic Forum in Kobe. I have been selected as featured presenter at the Kobe conference. Very challenging!

The image here is my work for reception of a clinic. If your business requires high quality flowers weekly, please contact us. 


Thursday, 18 January 2018

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Ikebana Today 66

Under the influence of modernism in Western art, Ikebana changed significantly in the 1930’s and Ikebana is still under that influence. What was the focus of the new Ikebana movement in the1930’s?

The new Ikebana movement did not intend to deny everything about Ikebana which began in the 15th century with the establishment of Tatehana. Among the people involved in the new movement, it is not clear whether there was agreement about what and how much to change the traditional Ikebana. For instance, Sofu Teshiganaha (1900 - 1979), the founder of the Sogetsu school was looking into a rather small, but important aspect of Ikebana. He criticised the traditional Ikebana, particularly in between the Edo and Taisho periods which made too much of copying in creating and in teaching Ikebana. He commented that such an approach was not “artistic”. Here is an important point in finding out about his idea of “art”. I’ll discuss more about this later.

Notably, in the period from Edo to Taisho there were two Ikebana booms in which the number of Ikebana schools increased significantly. I’ll summarise the characteristics of those booms in short soon. They would help not just to understand the overall history of Ikebana but also the crucial points of Sofu’s argument. After the second World War what occurred was the third and the largest Ikebana boom in which Sogetsu and Ohara, the major powers in the new Ikebana movement, as well as Ikenobo, played important roles.

The image here is the work I made for Koko Japanese restaurant at the Crown Hotel during Christmas and New Year last year. I have been asked to create displays for them again this year. I hope you will have a chance to see my works there.

I am going to participate in the Lorne Sculpture and the Biennale of Australian Art this year. I will be exhibiting the second and the third series of my environmental art following my award winning piece, Whale’s Stomach, at the Yering Station Sculpture Exhibition 2017. I hope you will enjoy them.

My course at RMIT Short Courses, Japanese aesthetics: From flower arrangement to contemporary art will start again from 14 February 2018.