Last Friday marked another milestone as I had my first Tokyo workshop on Ikebana. A few months ago, my friends Rie and Susumu invited me to collaborate with them for an autumn exhibition. As we discuss the details, the idea of having a workshop in summer came up. It will be part of Susumu’s pottery summer exhibition. We are fortunate that the gallery owner is very supportive and even helped us with the logistics.
My first Tokyo workshop! I planned to have one but I didn’t know that I would have the opportunity as early as now. I was also able to display some Ikebana arrangements using Susumu’s vases.
Susumu also conducted a pottery workshop on the last day of the exhibition.The exhibition and workshops were held at r_cafe Gallery and Studio in Yotsuyasanchome, Shinjuku.
Tokyo Workshop at r_cafe Gallery and Studio
The Ikebana workshop had two sessions: morning (11:00 am – 12:00 noon) and afternoon (1:00 pm – 2:00 pm). There were a good diversity of participants for both sessions. During the morning session, my friend Morgane joined as a participant. She is currently in Tokyo for a short visit. There were also participants from London during the afternoon session.
For both sessions, each participant received a small vase, a kenzan, and a set of flowers and leaves. I first showed them how to cut the flowers or leaves for their shin, soe, and hikae. These are the three main branches for basic Sogetsu ikebana. It is very interesting to see how focused the kid participants are in order to get the right measurements for their stems.
While sharing a hot macha (green tea) courtesy of Ms. Kaori Watanabe (gallery owner and licensed tea ceremony sensei), the participants shared their feedback and insights during the workshop. All of them enjoyed as it is their first time to make an Ikebana arrangement. They said that it was also a good opportunity to practice their English and meet people from different places.