Last Sunday I spent a delightful afternoon with Kazuko Yano. Many Victorians will remember her from Ikebana International. We had arranged some time earlier to go together to an event called Flower Dream at Tokyo Big Sight. This is very similar to Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show except they only have flower exhibits, not gardens.
Kazuko is so thoughtful and kind that she offered to meet me part of the way because I was not familiar with the particular train line I would have to change to (the Yurikamome for those of you who know Tokyo). This was fabulous. Not only did I have the pleasure of her company but I was able to enjoy sights I had not seen before around the waterfront because the train traveled above ground, unlike the subway, which I use daily.
Ikebana International had been invited for the first time to take part in this exhibition and Kazuko was one of the exhibitors. Naturally, I wanted to see the ikebana work first and I was not disappointed. The work was interesting and varied and I enjoyed soaking in the atmosphere.
Kazuko behind her elegant arrangement. Sadly the photograph cannot do justice to the beauty of the arrangement or its creator.
There were, also, the usual competitions and stalls selling all sorts of flower related merchandise. Nothing could compare with the magnificence of the bonsai. Here are three examples.
One of the highlights for me was to watch 3 high school girls, in their uniforms, demonstrating ikebana on the stage. They were the winners of previous competitions and had not seen the containers or materials beforehand, so the work was spontaneous. They did 3 different and beautiful arrangements. I was so proud!
There was so much to see, some good, some not so good, however the one display that took my breath away was this huge, stunning ikenobo arrangement. I am showing two views so you can get an idea of the work and expertise involved in getting the whole thing to balance on that narrow base.