In-depth has been going by very quickly for me as it is easy to get caught up in the zen moments of ikebana and the ikenobo school. In my own time, I have been studying the fundamentals of ikebana and the essence and meaning behind the art of flower arrangement. I began to explore how life can be portrayed in the abstract ways of ikebana. With the essence of ikebana being balance and harmony in nature, I learned concepts like the “heaven, earth and man” and “the viewing.”
This week, I met with my mentor for the first time. Due to my later start, I have only just began my in-depth journey with my mentor. However, that doesn’t set me back far because I was prepared with a lot of concepts and ideas to discuss to get full value and enrichment out of her time. To be honest, we didn’t do much flower arrangement on our meeting. Instead, my mentor talked about the history of ikebana and gave insight to what the schools and rules of ikebana really mean. She talked about how the concepts of ikebana all correlate to some sort of belief or past value.
When I was with my mentor last weekend, she asked me why I was interested in ikebana as it is a very old tradition that is dying off. I told her that I wanted to do a sort of decaying art for in-depth to try and revive the skill and specifically ikebana because I think flowers are beautiful and there is many things in life we can mirror using more abstract means. The idea of portraying thoughts in the form of flower arrangement mesmerized me and my mentor agreed strongly. My mentor used to work in a flower shop because she loved to look at flowers and appreciate their beauty. When we talked about the heaven, earth and man concept I brought up, I asked what if we ignored it, and my mentor said that we cannot ignore it because these concepts have a significant cultural meaning and are part of ikebana as a whole.
With the history of ikebana being very long and having many different variations and schools, it was hard to keep track as my mentor educated me on the history of the subject. When she was explaining a few of the big schools, I asked for clarification because I didn’t understand the subtle differences between similar schools. For example, when she compared Saga Goryu ikebana to Ikenobo ikebana, I was confused on the differences and asked for clarification. After she explained that Saga Goryu ikebana focused making the arrangement delicate and sophisticated versus the variety of colour and beauty in ikenobo, I agreed with her when I looked at the pictures. Like I mentioned in the previous paragraph, my mentor asked why I wante to learn ikebana and I actually told a story about it. When I was a child, I’d always look at the flowers in the gardens, fields, and lakes. Although I’m not proud of it now, I would always pluck the flowers from their habitat and run around with them. I have always had a sort of connection with flowers since I was young. When my mentor mentioned the idea of “viewing” and how different concepts can be seen when the flower arrangement is viewed from different perspectives sort of reflected on my life. I feel like there are many things I miss out on because I have a bias of sorts.
I plan to meet my mentor next weekend and go deeper into my exploration on ikebana and hopefully make some beautiful artwork to show.