Let Go of Fear

Shimputai of anthurium and plum blossoms

Shoka shimputai of anthurium and plum blossoms

My last post entitled Fear generated a fairly lively dialogue, which I thoroughly enjoyed even though, in the end, there was no resolution. Five people favored the juxtaposition of heart and mind while five other readers preferred art and mind. One person remained neutral leaving me with the final decision, therefore, here goes the final version:

fear of failure
paralyses art and mind
o, to be whole again

However, there comes a time when one must let go of fear, and I though I would let one of my friends, Carrie Dayshare her feelings with us on this matter.

The best I can say right now is that I am still working at it.Writing remains a pain, but fortunately, teaching ikebana keeps me in the loop. Both Brenda and I are enjoying our classes, and to see what we are up to these, just visit us at the EJCA Ikebana Club where you will see the work of our students posted after every lesson. Just as I am committed to Harmonia, our church choir at WestwoodI also enjoy creating flower arrangements for our Sunday services such as the one posted at the top of this page, and the two found below. I hope you can enjoy them as well.

Thanks for visiting.

Kurimoto Japanese Garden Spring Festival

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On June 7th, our EJCA Ikebana Club participated in the yearly Spring festival at the Kurimoto Japanese Garden, a special area of the Devonian Gardens of the University of Alberta. This is a cultural event in which many of the clubs sponsored by the Edmonton Japanese Community Association choose to participate. Our Ikebana Club offered both a demonstration and an exhibition of arrangements done on location by myself, my devoted assistant, Brenda , and a number of students whose arrangements will be identified by their name tag. For a detailed view of the exhibition please see the Club’s web page. Each of the images can be enlarged by clicking on it.

Rikka Shimputai Featured at the Garden entrance.

Rikka Shimputai Featured at the Garden entrance.

Texas’ Chapter Anniversary Exhibition

The two arrangements above were contributed by visiting professors from Japan who, along with the Headmaster Sen’ei Ikenobo, honoured the attendees by their presence, their arrangements and their teaching, which will be the subject of another post. I wanted to offer an extensive coverage of the exhibition but, unfortunately, my photography was not good enough and, therefore, what follows is a mere selection of what was on exhibit. On this occasion, I did miss my official photographer.

Headmaster Sen’ei Ikenobo in Houston

Headmaster Sene'ei Ikenobo with Mrs. LaVerl Daily,president of the Rexas Chapter.

Headmaster Sene’ei Ikenobo with Mrs. LaVerl Daily, president of the Texas Chapter.

When it comes to ikebana, I have a lot of catching up to do as I have to cover activities that have taken place between May 28th and June 7th. The report will take place over several posts and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did the activities.

On May 28th and 29, the Texas Ikenobo Ikebana Chapter celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary, and the event opened on the 28th with a large exhibition of arrangements by members of the Chapter, and the exhibition, as customary, was reviewed by the Headmaster. In the foyer, leading to the exhibition room, stood the Headmaster’s own Rikka Shimputai.

Rikka Shimputai by Sen"ei Ikenobo.

Rikka Shimputai by Sen’ei Ikenobo.

The major attraction, however, came in the afternoon when Sen’ei Ikenobo performed a much anticipated demonstration during which he composed six different arrangements, three shoka shimputai, two jiyuka (free style), and one rikka shimputai. It must be noted that Sen’ei Ikenobo created these new styles, the shoka shimputai in 1977, and the rikka shimputai in 1999. Both of these styles were introduced in order to make Ikenobo ikebana better reflect contemporary sensibilities, yet retaining “the traditional and formal sense of beauty which, over many generations have come to mark Ikenobo rikka” and shoka.

The beginning of the demonstration with the insertion of the first yakueda.

The beginning of the demonstration with the insertion of the first few yakuedas (or stems).

The demonstration was followed, as usual, by a Reishiki-ike which is a ceremonial and moving type of arrangement done in three parts. Professor Shinobu Akino made the arrangement assisted by Professor Taichi Inoue.

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Tulips Shoka Isshuike

 

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The Isshuike of tulips is a simple shoka arrangement, yet, as any Isshuike, one has to strictly adhere to the rules. Only two flower stems are used, one for shin and one for tai. It is important to use attached leaves as much as possible, if the leaves are not suitable, other leaves have to be cut from a stem and reinserted appropriately with the flower. Fortunately, tulips are plentiful in Spring gardens allowing us to practice this arrangement at this time. Today, my friend Miguel and I collected our material from his garden and produced the following arrangements.

 

Ikebana update

miguel paella party

It has been a while since I have posted any ikebana arrangements as there had been few special events of late. However, on April 18th, my friend and student, Miguel Ferrero organized a fundraising paella dinner for 100 guests, to benefit a girl’s school in Nepal supported by an Edmonton Buddhist group.  A week later, on April 25th, an earthquake hit the Kathmandu region, making relief help an immediate necessity. For the benefit dinner, Miguel had chosen some flower material which I arranged for him, the result being the above shoka shimputai of cucurma, bird nest fern and anthurium.

Last night, May 7th, we had a jiyuka (free style) lesson at the Edmonton Japanese Community Association’s Ikebana Club and our arrangements can be viewed on the Club’s web site.

Many ikebana events are coming over the next few months. At the end of May, I will be attending a special rikka workshop in Houston, Texas, during the local chapter’s Fiftieth Anniversary Symposium. Our headmaster, Sen’ei Ikenobo, will be offering an extensive demonstration for the occasion. There will be much to report upon my return.

In early June, the EJCA Ikebana Club has been invited to participate in the Kurimoto Japanese Spring Festival, where my students and I will exhibit a number of arrangements. I will also be offering a 45 minute live demonstration, as well as contributing a large arrangement to be exhibited at the gate of the Kurimoto Garden.

On the weekend of August 7th to 9th we will take part in Animethon 22 with a demonstration a day on the 8th and 9th, just as we did last year. Much to be looking forward to.

Shimputai of calla, bird nest fern and  chrysanthemum.

Shimputai of calla, bird nest fern and chrysanthemum.