Flowers and Ikebana

Ikebana on Cultivating Resilience

This year has been one of the most challenging for most of us. It seemed the whole world stopped for about a month or two. Economies and businesses were (or still are) down; limited mobility; and fear of uncertainty enveloping most of us.

It is during this hard times that I personally appreciate efforts, big and small, to help each other cope with our current situation. People sharing their culinary skills, reading lists, photos of past travels, and useful tips on how to spend our time confined in the four corners of our homes.

The Ikebana community worldwide has also been a big help not only for its practitioners but more importantly to people from all walks of life, young and old.

#ikebanaforpraying and Sogetsu’s Ikebana at Home Online Exhibition

During the first few weeks when the pandemic shocked the whole world, the headmasters of School of Ikenobo had a Flower Offering ceremony for the people who lost their lives due to Covid-19 and pray for the rapid end of the outbreak. Together with this the #ikebanaforpraying were used by lots of Ikebana artists as an expression of their support. Social media like Facebook and Instagram were flooded with Ikebana arrangements everyday with the said hashtag in order to create positive vibes for everyone in the midst of the pandemic.

The Sogetsu School, on the other hand, featured the theme ‘Ikebana at Home‘ for its 9th Everyone’s Sogetsu Ikebana Exhibition. People were encouraged to submit their Ikebana arrangements placed in different rooms of their houses; fruits and vegetables; or things found at home like kitchen tools. Below are the arrangements I submitted for the exhibition.

Morimono Ikebana
Morimono Ikebana using our everyday vegetables

Morimono Ikebana using fruits and mushrooms
Textures and Colors using fruits, potatoes, and mushrooms

Ikebana for living room
Ikebana for the living room

Unconventional Creativity

With limited access or almost none to fresh flowers, the creativity of Ikebana practitioners was strengthened using unconventional materials. This is also a good way to promote the flexibility and openness of Ikebana on using a variety of materials aside from flowers and leaves. Despite the absence of our weekly Ikebana lessons with my sensei, I tried to practice doing some arrangements at home. I used colored pencils, twines, and paper which I have not tried before.

Colored Pencils, Jenga Blocks, and Strawberry

Mizuhiki and Rattan twines with Calligraphy Paper

Appreciation of the What is Available

One of the things that I am reminded during this hard times is to appreciate the things available rather than feel sorry for what you cannot have at the moment. I am fortunate that my balcony garden flourished quite well and gave me beautiful materials for small arrangements. This year was my first time grow sweet pea flowers. Together with some lavender stems and a loquat all from the garden, I was able to create a relaxing arrangement.

Aromatherapy using Sweet Peas, Lavender, and Loquat

Happy weekend everyone and keep safe!

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