Monday, 30 June 2014


My final photo in my favourite place in Tokyo with my favourite person, Akiko Takahira

It was with considerable sadness that I attended my last  class - International Class. As I mentioned before, I have come to know the regular students and have become fond of them.

Koka Fukushima sensei demonstrated this freestyle arrangement in a large metal container shaped like a pyramid and used Pee gee hydrangeas and New Zealand Flax, which she split and wove creating interesting lines.

Sensei also demonstrated Variation no. 4 Hanging Style Nageire using Golden Spirea and clematis in this rather unusual container. 

Lucy did this fascinating arrangement inspired by some of the work at the exhibition. She enjoyed using horsetail for the first time and put two agapanthus coming together at the front.

As for me, I also wanted to try using horsetail and enjoyed the flexibility of being able to wire it. I picked a glass container with distinct lines that I wanted to follow and used alstroemerias for mass.

A fairwell lunch had been arranged after class and those who could make it joined Lucy and me and Ms Takahira at a Restaurant around the corner from the school. We enjoyed a delicious German lunch with Renate, our German friend, helping us navigate through the menu.

I mentioned before how much I enjoyed the unexpected pleasure of meeting people from around the world. Every Monday I will think of the International class with nostalia and I will miss it. Of course, I will also miss the Teachers Workshops, the Iemoto Classes and all the wonderful and talented people at Headquarters, who have taught me so much, starting with Iemoto, the instructors, the assistants in the classroom as well as the Atelier group and, especially Ms Takahira. To all of the above, I would like to express my most heartfelt thanks for making my Tokyo experience an unforgettable one.

But my deepest gratitude goes to Norman and Mary Sparnon for having the foresight to create the endowment that provided the funds for me and others to enjoy immersing ourselves in ikebana and the Japanese culture.

I left Tokyo physically but my mind and a small part of my heart are still there. I have returned to my home and have plunged myself into family life and getting my home and garden in order, all of which I enjoy, but every so often I think about what is happening in Tokyo.

I'm also busy preparing for the resumption of my classes and I'm very excited at the prospect of seeing my students again and sharing my experiences with them.

As I mentioned before, I'm supposed to be working in the garden. My problem is that as soon as I see some interesting material, I want to cut it and make an arrangement. Very little gardening gets done this way.

When I arrived home my viburnum macrocephalum was in its glorious autumn foliage crying out to be used. So here it is in my newly acquired bamboo container.

As I was unpacking and trying to find room for my new containers, a problem that remains unsolved, I encountered the same temptations. I was itching to 'play' with each one and I realized that resistance is futile, so I gave in and played. Below are some examples.

While cleaning my ikebana room, I found this partially dried agave and tossed it in the bin, then quickly retrieved it and used it with this dear little plastic nageire container, which I found in a second hand store in Omiya village.

This monstera flower has a short life and had to be used straight away in my lovely new container.

The lilies for this arrangement were a welcome home gift from my sister-in-law, Toula Karanikolopoulos, an accomplished ikebanist herself and, of course, no time was wasted in arranging them.

A couple of things before I sign off - 

I intend to continue with this blog now that I am home, posting about my ikebana and related subjects but I haven't decided what to do about the name as yet. Please stay tuned.

For those who are not aware, I have posted photographs of all the arrangements of the Takashimaya Exhibition in the link 'Exhibitions in Tokyo'. You just need to click on the link and you're there. 

Also, some of you have sent messages to me via the blog thinking I have received them. Unfortunately, I haven't, otherwise I would have replied. There is some complexity to this and, I believe, you are required to have a Google account for your messages to come through. If any of you would like to contact me please email me.

Bye for now,

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to hear you will continue with your blog because I have enjoyed reading about your experiences very much. It would be interesting to see what your students and you create with the new knowledge you bring back to them, and to read about life in Australia, a country I find fascinating!