Celebrations in Ikebana was the main theme for the recent Autumn Semester at Best Living Japan Ikebana Class. During each lesson, we first introduced the principles of Ikebana. Then we apply them to our arrangements for western festivities like Thanksgiving and Christmas. We also introduced Japanese traditions such the appreciation of autumn colors or Koyo.
Western Celebrations in Ikebana
For our Autumn semester, we conducted three classes – once a month from October until November. Themes were chosen based on the festivity that falls for each month.
The Colors of Autumn
Our first lesson was an introduction of the Japanese Koyo tradition or appreciation of the changing of autumn colors. It is the time when locals go for a walk in a park or hike in the mountains to see the colorful leaves.
For our arrangements, we made basic upright Moribana arrangements focusing on leaves of raspberry, momiji (red acers), merlot flax. We also have autumn flowers such as the Chrysanthemums and Gladiola. The students also learned leaf manipulation techniques as they created their arrangements. Our container is a bento box with drawings of traditional Japanese musical instruments as autumn is also the season for arts and crafts in Japan.
For our November lesson, the students learned how to make a Morimono arrangement as centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner. Morimono is an Ikebana composition that uses fruits, vegetables, and root crops as the main material. During this session, elements such as lines; mass; and colors were discussed. We used crops which as available at the local supermarkets such as the mushrooms; daikon (radish); and bokchoy for some Asian flair. We also used Hawthorne and Rosehip berries as supporting materials.
To celebrate the incoming holiday season, the students learned how to make the Basic Upright Nageire Ikebana. Similar to Moribana arrangement, the students measured their three main materials for the Shin, Soe, and Hikae. However during this lesson, they used tall cylindrical vases and without a kenzan. To help them keep the stems and flowers in place, different types of fixtures were introduced.
For our materials. we used pine; holy; dry stems colored in gold; yellow roses; red berries; and clay poinsettia flowers.