Hanami is a famous celebration here in Japan in spring. The word hana means flowers while mi means to see. Literally it means “to see the flowers”. Most of the time, hanami season starts when the cherry blossoms or sakura start to bloom. During this time, people do picnic parties under the sakura trees. Others visit popular places known for sakura viewing and do long walks. With this, they do not only enjoy looking at the sakura blossoms but also the other spring flowers.
Our Hanami Workshop
Last Sunday, we conducted an Ikebana and Tea Ceremony workshop as our way of celebrating spring. But with the unpredictable weather we have this year, it was held indoors at Gallery & Studio r_cafe in Yotsuyasanchome, Shinjuku. The workshop was divided into two parts – Ikebana and Tea Ceremony. During the Ikebana session, the participants had two set of activities. The first one was learning about the materials and the three main stems (Shin, Soe, and Hikae). I taught them how to cut their materials accordingly and together, we placed each main stems on the kenzan for the basic upright Moribana arrangement.
For the second activity, I asked the participants to rearrange the positions of the main stems by first making their own sketches. After that, they created their variation of the upright Moribana arrangement based on their own designs.
On the second part of the workshop, the learned the proper etiquettes of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Gallery owner, Ms. Kaori Watanabe – a licensed Tea Ceremony teacher – explained the purpose of the fan in tea ceremonies and how to properly enter the tea room. Inside the tea room, Ms. Akiko Takao assisted Ms. Kaori as she conducted the tea ceremony. Then, we all gathered together back at the workshop table where participants learned how to make their own macha tea.