When you hear about Asia, one of the first things that come to mind is bamboo. In Japan, it reflects resilience, strength, purity, and innocence. It is also one of the most used materials for Ikebana arrangements. During our summer trip in Nagano, my friend gave me a couple of bamboo vases. They were from her parents-in-law. And because it was summer vacation for our Ikebana class, it was only until yesterday that I was able to use them.
Early Autumn Ikebana Using Bamboo
I chose to highlight the bamboo vases for my yesterday’s special lessons with Takayama-sensei. It was my first time to have all arrangements using such containers. And it is a good opportunity for me to know the dos and donts when using it.
For my first arrangement, I tried to combine summer and autumn together. The bamboo basket represents summer while the flowers represent autumn. The flowers used in this arrangement were blue Gentian, small yellow Mums, yellow Patrinia, brown Sanguisorba, and a Lemon Grass leaf.
The next arrangement highlights the solid colors of dark pink, green, and brown. I arranged the dark pink Gerberas in a straight line to complement the dark brown tall vase. While the green ferns were formed into circles to have some contrast.
My third arrangement is a bit special. It is an arrangement for my friend’s father-in-law who passed away a week ago. And also my way of saying thank you for the vases they gave me. It was my first time to make an arrangement for a deceased person here in Japan. That is why I asked my sensei for some guidance. Since I will not offer the flowers in a temple or shrine, she allowed me to do a freestyle arrangement. If it would be in a temple or shrine, I need to arrange the flowers in a triangular shape. This type of arrangement is called Rikka. I used white and cream Lisianthus, white Lilies, and blue Gentian. Before people only use white flowers for funerals or deaths. But now, they also use other colors especially the favorite color of the deceased.