War Against Japan

Cause and Consequence: What were the causes and most important aspects of your chosen event related to the guiding question?

For the Japanese, one of the main causes for rapid South-East Asian expansion was the rise of right-wing political leaders after World War I. These national leaders advocated for Hakkō ichiu which was a Japanese philosophy that all of Asia should be ruled under one roof, the roof of the Japanese Emperor. The growing philosophy in the 1920s and 1930s also stated that to support Japan’s industrial growth, Japan would need more resources and foreign territories made the perfect target. Japan set its eyes on China and specifically the capital of Nanking. Japan’s invasion of China is what started the Second Sino-Japanese War which was a precursor to the Pacific War. Although allied forces were originally on the side of Japan as Japan was an ally from WWI, after the “Rape of Nanking” in 1937, allied and communist powers began siding with China. U.S.A began a trade embargo on oil against Japan following the invasion of China and even said that Japan needed to leave China before a negotiation could happen. Japan retaliated from this embarrassment with one of the greatest coordianted air and naval raids in history, the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Below is a chart exemplifying Japan’s spread into Asia.

Image result for japanese expansion

For Britain, the War Against Japan did not truly start until December 8, 1941 when the British colony of Malaya, Singapore, Burma, and Hong Kong were under attack. Japan made this strategic move specifically because they knew that the Pearl Harbour bombing would set back the U.S.A a bit which meant they only had to fight off the troops currently stationed in the colonies. Specifically, this is relevant to Canada because Canadian soldiers were stationed in all of these British colonies, especially Hong Kong having almost 2000 Canadian soldiers.

For U.S.A, the bombing of Pearl Harbour was the signal that war was ahead. The day after the bombings, America officially declared war on Japan. Another reason why America was mad at Japan was because the day after Pearl Harbour, Japan began its invasion on the Philippines as well which was an overseas territory of the U.S.A at the time.

In terms of causes of the Pacific War, Canada isn’t as relevant but there still is a big takeaway from the situation. Canadian blood was shed in the British colonies which was a big disgrace and setback for the growing Canada. However, Canada managed to grow in a different way as they got more politically autonomous by declaring war on Japan.

Historical Perspective: How was your researched event viewed by Canadians at the time? How do you know?

One of the biggest Canadian movements against Japanese was actually in its own nation. In 1942, during the ongoing Pacific War, Japanese internment camps were created under the pretext of “national security.” This event of racial discrimination showcased Canada’s fear of local Japanese and the idea that they may be in communications with the Empire of Japan. The fear was also furthered by the Pearl Harbour bombing as Canadians began to fear if a similar event would happen to them. The Canadians also held a sort of anger towards the Japanese as they had killed many Canadian soldiers during the invasion of the British colonies. The act showcased Canada growing autonomously both socially and politically. It was political growth as Canada took it into their own hands to handle the affairs of Japanese residents in Canada and it was social as they built these rules upon their own perspective of Japanese people.

Continuity and Change: To what extent did this event or idea affect Canadian social, political, or economic norms or values?

Politically, the Pacific War put Canada into a spin as lots of political negotiations and agreements started to pop up in the nation and outside of the nation with the growing threat of the Empire of Japan looming over them. The most obvious political movement caused by the Japanese was the declaration of war against Japan drafted by William Lyon Mackenzie King, the reigning Prime Minister. Socially, Canada began to build up anger as Canadian soldiers were killed and captured on British land by the Japanese. The war drastically changed Canadian values at the time as because of the war, Canada began to imprison Japanese residents. Before the war, this sort of blatant discrimination would be fought against, but the pretext of “national security” won the hearts of many Canadians as their values had been twisted by the onslaught of Japanese expansion. Economically, Canada actually reached major success. Due to the war, Canada began focusing lots of economic prowess on building ships and aircrafts which actually doubled their GDP coming from the end of The Great Depression. The new norms on where the economy should be focused on actually propelled Canada to greater economic heights.

Image result for ship building Canada ww2

Historical Significance: In what ways, specifically, did your event contribute to Canada’s social, political, or economic autonomy? Provide evidence from primary and secondary sources.

As mentioned earlier, the threat of the Japanese boosted Canada into further political autonomy. When Canadians heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbour, they immediately drafted the declaration to support their aggravated allies and to protect themselves from similar actions. The decision to create Japanese Internment Camps was both social and political as it was Canada’s own autonomy that decided to make this political act that affect Canada’s global social scene as a whole. In terms of economics, it was the Pacific War that made Canada focus more of its economy on military as Canada was scared for her own safety. The showcase of economic autonomy worked out very well for Canada and ended up boosting the economy and trade.

Image result for canada autonomy from britain

Desmos Math Art w/ Functions


To be honest, I went into this without knowing anything about functions. The first decision I made was to go through every function provided and see what kind of shapes they can make and I recorded my findings into the function package we were given. Once I had identified the uses of each function, I merely looked at the kind of line I needed to draw and used the corresponding function to make that line. For example, I used linear equations for the straight parts of the monkey, exponential functions for the more slightly rounded parts and circle equations for any distorted or cut off circles.

When I moved and distorted the different graphs I didn’t do anything special. All I did was do what I was taught within the booklet. I translated, reflected, and stretched equations using the y=a(x-q)+p format. I did not use rotations or any other fancy tricks that we were not taught.

I had a lot of challenges with the drawing of my monkey. Especially since this sort of task does not come easy to me at all and is very hard for me to visualize. In fact, this project took me over 13 hours of focus time to finish. I understand all the concepts and ideas, but I am just very slow with using computers as well as implementing graphs. Art and technology are my absolute worst subjects so the two combining together has had me in a bit of a pinch.

I did have an ‘aha’ moment when Mr. Salisbury gave me approval to use x=a(sin(b(x-q)))+p and x=a(y-q)^2+p equations. Although these are not the proper functions we were supposed to use, they helped me a lot considering I was having a lot of trouble with slightly rotated curves that the exponential functions could not fit into.

I received lots of help from Mr. Salisbury who helped me find good equations. Edward also taught me the absolute value equation which helped me create a sharp ‘v’ shape. Another friend outside of school also coached me a bit on how to do the activity because I had a lot of trouble.

I did not have any distinct strategy but merely organized all the equations I knew by the kind of shape they made and chose a equation I thought would build the line I needed. I took a very direct approach to the assignment.

The main idea I took away from the task was that I now know many of the shapes of different equations. I know the shapes of every equation I used in my monkey as well as some equations I tested but never used. Another concept I learned was about the translation and distortion of the functions. I never realized that y=a(x-q)+p could have so many variations and change graphs in so many ways. In the end, with the time I spent on this project, it was impossible for me to not accidentally memorize the shapes of many graphs as well as the effect of changing variables and adding negatives to the equations.




Peaceful Protector of the Prairies: John A. MacDonald

People are inherently evil without the threat of government and law hanging over their necks. John A. Macdonald realized this and righteously took it upon himself to create the North-West Mounted Police. The North-West Mounted Police were established in 1873 with the goal of governing the unruly prairies and suppressing the North-West Rebellion (Butts.) While some say that the North-West Mounted Police did heinous crimes like “intercept[ing Indigenous] children” and “physically abus[ing]” them, the claims are all anecdotal and lack evidence (LeBeuf). However, it is irrefutable that the North-West Mounted Police were crucial in suppressing riots and revolts. Seeing that John A. Macdonald’s creation of the North-West Mounted Police allowed for the rule of the Prairies through law rather than violence which championed Canada through a time of Indigenous discrimination and unruly whiskey trade, his name should continue to be known as a venerable peacekeeper in the public sphere. 

John A. Macdonald’s constant concern and care is what helped turn the Prairies, destitute and desolate wasteland of crime and corruption into the rich and bountiful land it is today. In fact, “the Liberal opposition actually berated him for spending too much on food relief for the famine-stricken [Prairie] native [tribes]” when Macdonald increased the budget of feeding the Indigenous (Hopper). John A. Macdonald’s protective actions to ensure that the natives are fed and able to sleep comfortably is a value that many Canadians did not have at the time. Macdonald was very forward thinking when it came to taking care of the natives, especially in the Prairies where he used the North-West Mountain Police to detain many Indian Agents who were hiding food from the natives or even poisoning the natives due to their discriminatory beliefs (Hopper). Macdonald built the North-West Mounted Police based on “honesty, courage, impartiality, tenacity and a job well done” which is exactly how they handed out punishments to the guilty criminals of the Prairies (Steele). 

The group of people that removed John A. Macdonald’s statue from the city hall of Victoria, B.Cargued that the “injustices that Macdonald inflicted upon the First Nations outweigh [his] contributions [as] the Father of Canadian Confederation” (Thomas). However, without John A. Macdonald’s intervention in the whiskey trade, countless Indigenous lives would have been lost in what is currently known as the American Indian Wars (Peters). The whiskey trade in the Prairies was a series of transactions where American companies were diluting whiskey and selling them to Indigenous Peoples until they were addicted to it. The Indigenous were outraged and began to enter combat with the Americans. During the constant fighting between the Blackfoot Confederacy and the American companies who were trying to conquer Rupert’s Land (present-day Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba), Macdonald “knew that the only way to achieve this end would be to dispatch a force of mounted riflemen to the North-West Territory to quell the whisky trade” which was the North-West Mounted Police (Peters). Through Macdonald’s selfless act to put government funds into building the martial force, Macdonald saved thousands of Indigenous lives and stopped Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan from being annexed by the U.S.A. 

John A. Macdonald’s heroism is under dispute as one side claims that “Macdonald basically had Indigenous People locked down so tightly that they became irrelevant after 1885”, but Macdonald’s actions have only helped to provide aid for the Indigenous People as everyone else neglected and took advantage of them (Hopper). John A. Macdonald built the North-West Mounted Police based on the most righteous of intentions which were to protect and administer justice for all of Canada which was a huge success in terms of suppressing rebellions and violence in the Prairie and saving many Indigenous lives in the vulgar whiskey trade. MacDonald and the North-West Mounted Police fought for Canadian law and order. For Canada to suddenly turn their back on the contributions of John A. Macdonald is sickening, especially when John A. Macdonald refused to turn his back on Canada and the Indigenous People even when everyone else was against him. 

Butts, Edward. “North-West Mounted Police.” North-West Mounted Police | The Canadian Encyclopedia, 7 Feb. 2006, www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/north-west-mounted-police. 

Hopper, Tristin. “Here Is What Sir John A. Macdonald Did to Indigenous People.” National Post, 28 Aug. 2018, nationalpost.com/news/canada/here-is-what-sir-john-a-macdonald-did-to-indigenous-people. 

LeBeuf, Marcel-Eugene. PhD. “The Role of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police During 

the Residential School System.” Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 2011. Ontario:  

Canada. 20. Print. 

Peters, Hammerson. “How John A. Macdonald Helped the First Nations.” Canada History and Mysteries, 25 Aug. 2018, www.mysteriesofcanada.com/alberta/how-john-a-macdonald-helped-the-first-nations/. 

Steele, Samuel Benfield. “North-West Mounted Police – A Tradition in Scarlet.” Police à Cheval Du Nord-Ouest – Une Tradition En Rouge, nwmphistory.ca/eng_html/7.3_legacy.html. 

Thomas, Megan. “’It’s Time’: John A. Macdonald Statue Removed from Victoria City Hall | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 12 Aug. 2018, www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/john-a-macdonald-statue-victoria-city-hall-lisa-helps-1.4782065. 




indepth #6

Summary of learning:

As we begin to close in on the finish of In-depth, I have created a new piece under the instruction of my mentor. I crafted this flower arrangement with the motifs of coziness and lightheartedness. Coziness was expressed by the close-quartered container and the sort of layering of flowers as they share the small space; Lightheartedness was represented through the colour scheme which brings that sort of mood and the comfortable fitting of the flowers as they complement each other. This particular work is very simplistic compared to my prior works and that is because I also felt like going for a minimalist feel which differs from my past works. My mentor and I both feel that only through exploring different techniques and concepts can we come to a fuller perspective of ikebana. Below is the flower arrangement titled “Floral Folly”.


Concepts are actually one of the key ideas in ikebana as the flower arrangements are always made with some bigger concept or theme behind it. The kind of concept used in ikebana is like the idea behind the company. The company represents the idea and capitalizes on it to turn it into something unique and special which is how the flower arrangement portrays concepts in original ways. My mentor and I usually dicuss a few different types of concepts before creating an arrangement. The first concept is mood which is basically what you want the person looking at it to feel and then we take concepts like colour and angle to appeal to the feelings we are looking for. In ikebana, I feel like concepts are layered and that certain concepts lead to other concepts like in the example I just showed. Concepts can be described as “road junctions that open up several other roads” as they open new paths for ideas and thoughts (p.121).


I almost feel like these chapter topics are made for ikebana because ikebana is an ancient art with thousands of variations. One of the most important ideas to understand about ikebana is that it is divided into thousands of schools of thought. In fact, some ikebana doesn’t even use flowers and uses modern means like paperclips and staples to portray meaning. My mentor has offered me lots of alternatives as she does not force me to stick to any school, although she is most skilled in the school of ikenobo. In fact, as you can see from my summary of learning, my newest work is taken from a minimalist train of thought which is quite diverse of an alternative to which I am used to. My mentor encourages me to learn from different perspectives to gain a fuller understanding of ikebana and its essence. If I had to say something about her offering more alternatives, I would like to try ikebana without flowers and instead use other means of representation.

In-depth night presentation:

I plan on creating a learning centre rather than presenting as my in-depth is more of a viewing than an act. I don’t intend do anything fancy as I would like my audience to pay attention to the flower arrangement themselves. I plan on displaying the flower arrangements in the open and answering any questions or comments from the audience. I hope to talk about my learning experience and the concepts I have grasped over my period of learning. I wish to share my knowledge and expertise in the subject and hope the audience will take in an interest in ikebana as well. The interactive feature of my learning centre is viewing the same flower arrangement from different angles and talking about how the angles affect the mood and tone of the art as angles are very important in ikebana.

Canadian Biography – Lester B. Pearson

These passages are from Gordon Gibb’s Prime Ministers of Canada: Lester B. Pearson. The book was published quite recently, so I took the historical perspective of the quotes from Lester B. Pearson rather than the publishing.


“Never again was I to look on the sea even from a Prime Ministerial Suite on a luxury liner, with anything but fear and distaste.” (pg. 17).

I found the quote interesting because it shined light on the characteristics and experiences of Lester B. Pearson while also providing some insight and foreshadowing into the times that were about to hit Lester Pearson and how he was going to react. The quote explains how because of Pearson’s bad experience at sea has affected his view and opinion on the sea. The experience was bad enough that Pearson had gained an internal fear of the sea which resembles PTSD. I had the chance to see a lot of PTSD symptoms when I am around my dad because he killed his wife in a car accident, so I understand the trauma that comes with these life-changing experiences.

The passage reveals some of the hideousness of war in the times of Pearson as it implies he may have seen some vulgar scenes which is what fuels his current distaste for the sea. It may also imply that Canadian values could have been more abhorrent as well since there were events which could radically influence Pearson’s perspective. The line may not specifically say anything about being Canadian now but when you contrast current Canadian values at the values of then, it seems that current Canadian values are more peaceful and less mentally-taxing. Current Canadians live in mainly in peace and aren’t as exposed to war and gore as Canadians may have been 60 years ago.


“Taking off and flying was easier than coming back down again. I was safe in the air – but coming back down was something else again.” (pg. 21).

This quote resonated with me due to its flexibility and how it can be applied to many situations in life. When Pearson said this, he was taking his first solo flight ever so his nerves were shaken and he didn’t have a clear idea of what he was doing which is why he didn’t want to take the step back down. He had a sort of watershed safety while he was circling around in the air and stalling his landing. I have felt this feeling many times before when I am scared of something so I loiter around and bide for time. For example, right now I have only begun writing this essay the day before it is due because I try and hold off on attempting something I am not confident in until I am absolutely forced to.

As the quote was taken from Pearson when he was forced into a solo flight without much consent, it shows that the Canadian Armed Forces and Canadian values didn’t care as much about how the soldiers felt and seemed to value the overall strength of the military over the individual’s needs which is a left-wing view. I believe that these ideals remain quite consistent to today’s Canadian Armed Forces as people often have the connotation of strict enforcement and meager voices for the soldiers when thinking about military.

“If Lester is my name, ‘Mike’ is what I am usually called. This change goes back to World War I when I was training with the RFC. My Squadron Commander felt that Lester was no name for an aspiring fighter pilot and decided to call me ‘Mike’. It stuck.” (pg. 25).

I found this quote quite interesting as there was minimal context and it was very glaring towards an avid reader. At first, I thought that the quote was quite irrelevant as it provided no pertinent information, but when I analyzed it more carefully I realized that it made Pearson look more friendly. When reading a biography, people often begin to idolize the person and place them on a pedestal, but this quote metaphorically knocks down the pedestal and makes Pearson feel more fun rather than a person who only knows work. The quote helps provide a fuller perspective of Pearson and his personality. When I was in middle school, my grade 6 teacher called me Tan and it stuck for the next 3 years of middle school, so I understand what Pearson felt.

The quote shows that bullying and discrimination laws were less strict and more accepted in the community as the Squadron Commander indirectly insulted Pearson’s name and got away with it. If a teacher told me that my name was dumb and gave me a new name, that would not be as acceptable as it was 60 years ago. Even if I agree with their opinion, they probably would not even think of saying it as some people could regard it as offensive.

“Mike Pearson handed his suitcase to a fellow he assumed was there to assist him with checking in. ‘Oh yes, Pearson. We were expecting you. I’ll show you to your room. However, first let me introduce myself. I’m Powell, the Senior Tutor.” (pg. 33).

Similar to the last quote, I like how this quote shows that Pearson isn’t some perfect cookie-cutter mold. If the last quote shows that Pearson was fun and friendly, then this quote shows that he makes embarrassing mistakes like all other humans. Pearson mistook his Senior Tutor to be a concierge which is awkward and probably not the best first impression. Like everyone else, I have also done similarly embarrassing things before. When I was small, I mistook a random lady to be my mom and I tried to hold her hand which was a very traumatic experience for me as a child.

This quote isn’t as heavy on Canadian values as the rest are but it does show that maybe concierges didn’t wear as distinct uniforms as they do nowadays since Pearson confused his Senior Tutor to be a random concierge. Contrarily, concierges and hotel staff all wear uniforms to display their alignment with the hotel nowadays.

“Pearson had begun to believe that Canada could stand up for itself, and for its own rights with the capacity to work out fair and equitable agreements with other superpowers like the US – on her own, without the need to seek Britain’s permission.” (pg. 45).

I chose this quote because this defined one of Pearson’s strongest characteristics which was his sense of nationalism as well as pride. Pearson loved Canada and fought his hardest to ensure that the nation he loved was doing the best it could. This quote resonated with me because when it comes to debate which is one of my passions, I have a sort of pride too where I need to always be putting in 100% and coming out on top. Although some say pride is a deadly sin, it can be very powerful if used wisely.

This quote shows that Canada didn’t always use to be the big global power it is today and it was actually under the rule of Britain. Canadians didn’t see themselves as Canadians but instead part of the British commonwealth. Pearson trailblazed the new Canadian ideals for independence and to become its own self-sustainable powerhouse. If it wasn’t for these ideals, we wouldn’t have our current Canadian values because we could have possibly still been a British colony.

THEME: Pride is often the downfall of many people, but when used wisely, it can become a sense of belonging or will to protect that propels people to work harder and stronger.

Lester B. Pearson is someone who has mastered the use of pride. His pride comes from a sense of belonging to Canada as well as a will to protect the nation he loves. He uses these core feelings and values to continuously push himself further and make sure that he is doing the best he can. The problem with pride is some people lose their focus and their pride becomes twisted. They become less proud of their cultures or work and become infatuated with the idea of themselves. Pride can bring ruin to many successful people, yet it can be the spark in someone’s journey forward.

indepth #5

Progress Update: Over the past few weeks, I’ve talked with my mentor about different styles and approaches to ikebana. Recently, I have worked on an ikebana which is actually inside a fish tank. My mentor believes that ikebana should not be restricted to only flowers, albeit flowers make up a great portion of the art. In fact, the transcript of conversation you will see is related to this. This piece of ikebana which I titled “Seascape” both because it is a portrayal of sea-related items as well as it is a sort of escape from the real world and into this tiny universe.

I used these green and blue pebbles because they remind me of the ocean with the sort of tiny and grainy pebbles that you would see on the beach as well as marine colours. Seashells and luminescent orbs further fuel this feeling and bring  one’s senses to the scene of the water just past the serene beach. The presence of the aquatic plant makes one feel like their in shallow water as the plant is so small yet so close. The pussywillows are unrelated to the ocean scenery but give off the vibe that their is a presence watching over and is a nod to the heavens in ikebana.

Conversation Transcript:

Me (Black hat): I thought in the school of ikenobo you don’t use any items that isn’t natural?

Mentor (Green hat): Although the ikenobo school may be strict like that, I don’t think ikebana should be restricted by purely flowers. Although I am not part of the very modern schools that use paperclips and wires, I think that using manmade items may add value to the art.

Me (Yellow hat): That makes sense because I also feel that an aquarium ikebana would be really cool and I don’t think we should restrict our creativity because of those rules especially when other schools do.

Mentor (Red hat): Exactly, ikebana is an art and restricting the medium too much can ruin the creative mind.

Mentor (White hat): Although, rules still serve a purpose and they should be respected to an extent.

Me (Red hat): That feels right to me. After all, if no one is willing to break a few rules then a lot of people’s art would be restricted.

Mentor (Yellow hat): Now that you’ve understood that. Let’s get to work on this aquarium ikebana.



A nation is a populace that cultivates a set of values and beliefs that represents the entirety of the people. To say Canada has that core identity is difficult when considering that democracy is based on multiple parties and conflicting opinions. It isn’t wrong to say, “there is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada,” but for Canada to be “the first postnational state” isn’t right either (Trudeau, 2015). Canada being classified as a postnational state makes sense with our vast variety of cultural groups, but countries like U.S.A, Australia, and U.K are also made up of many diverse groups and should be called postnational states by the same standard. Although ‘‘There are shared values — openness, respect, compassion,” in Canada, other countries also have their own set of shared values (Trudeau, 2017). These shared values do not change the fact that there is still diversity and differing opinions ingrained into the people of the nation. The biggest example of a distinct nation within Canada is the “French-speaking province of Quebec” which has tried to show its independence from Canada before (Foran, 2017). However, many countries around the world face a problem like this, albeit not as powerful of a movement in most cases. In the United States, many indigenous peoples are fighting for their rights and representing their own nation like the situation in Canada. The United States may not be as postnationalist as Canada, but it still has the qualities of postnationalism and should be considered postnational as well. Canada is like a giant family and “Not everyone is happy being in the family. Some think being a family member is important and others do not. But we are shaped by our families, and we shape ourselves within and sometimes against our families,” which is a concern from the idea of postnationalism blurring the lines between the Canadian culture and the incoming people, but this is a problem for all the countries in the world which is why I believe that the term postnational state should be applied to every country (McDonald, 2017). Canada is a postnational state, but so is almost every country in the world. We cannot escape differing opinions and values but rather we should accept them and work to find the most humanitarian resolution to all issues.








indepth #4

Progress: In the span of time between my last blog post and now. I have worked on two flower arrangements. The first being fully completed and titled “Exploration” as it represents a turtle’s journey through the vast world and the experiences it feels. It is a simple ikebana featuring three types of plants: Lilacs, tillandsia, and cattails. It follows the idea of heaven, man and earth as each plant respectively represents one of those three characteristics. “Exploration” was done in the upright-style instead of the slanting-style as I felt that an upright-style provides a more stiff and pressuring feeling as if one is lost in a jungle. Although I did not use traditional moribana flowers or angle design, this was done on purpose with my mentor. My mentor showed me a traditional ikebana and she wanted me to be creative in creating my own. After I completed “Exploration” she told me what concepts could be improved on as well as how to align it more with the traditional moribana-style arrangements. The second flower arrangement was done in accordance to the moribana-style but was left at my mentor’s place so the photo will be shown next week.

How to have a beautiful mind:

How to listen:

Me: So I understand that there are certain types of flowers that are used in certain schools and styles of ikebana but what is the reason these flowers go together?

Mentor: Well there are many factors, but to sum it up it is the way the flowers interact with each other. This includes the shape, form, contrast, and many other factors.

Me: Then can’t I have my own types of flowers as long as they look good together.

Mentor: Yes, and that is part of the artistic side of this. You can create your own styles and divert from the templates, but that takes more practice.

DeBono says that if “you listen carefully and attentively you will get more value from listening than talking” (p. 67). This was very true when it came to me listening to my mentor about the more abstract concepts of ikebana that are not easily understood without practice. If I wasn’t listening as intently I may have missed some key characterization points about ikebana that helps me understand the concept more.

How to ask questions:

Me: If ikebana is a form or art that allows for the expression of the author’s feelings, why are there so many rules about the angles of the shin, soe, and tai?

Mentor: Ikebana is a very old Japanese art and the Japanese are very organized people who like to have rules to follow. Unlike other forms of art that have lots of variation, when a new variation is formed in ikebana, it usually transforms into its own school if it is popular enough. The angle rules that I taught you are not only prevalent in ikebono and moribana but almost every school of ikebana. The angles were tested by sages and agreed to be beautiful by all.

Me: So by following these angles I can make my ikebana better?

Mentor: Theoretically, yes. I will show you two flower arrangements using the same flowers and materials with two variations on angles and you can tell me which one is better and why.


Me: I see what you were saying. This one has more of the free and spirited feel because of the left handed slanted-style and angling of the plants so they do not intersect and instead compliment each other.

DeBono says that “questions are a key means of interaction in any conversation or discussion” (88).  This made a lot of sense in my conversation because me asking the question about the ikebana viewing angles let me open up a whole new path on my learning and widen my eyes towards ikebana.

I cannot wait until I make more beautiful art work and share my learning with all of you. I will have more pictures next week!


Romeo and Juliet Act II: Critical Response

From our understandings of the reading to this point, we don’t see any sign of either Romeo or Juliet falling out of their love or infatuation. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, puppy love is defined as “romantic love that a young person feels for someone else, which usually disappears as the young person becomes older.” Although we see Romeo and Juliet quickly infatuate each other, we only see their love for each other growing stronger when Juliet says “but my true love is grown to such excess, I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth” she is showing a change from her previous more standoffish and poised character into a more excited and exuberant one (2.6.33-34). Another reason why Romeo and Juliet’s love shouldn’t be categorized as merely infatuation is because when Juliet finds out that Romeo is a Montague, she says “my only love sprung from my only hate […] that I must love a loathed enemy,” and is brooding over how to love him instead of trying to cut Romeo (1.5.138,141). When Romeo finds out that Juliet is a Capulet, he says “my life is in my foe’s  debt’ which is Romeo saying that it is a shame that his life is in the enemy’s hands since he cannot stop loving Juliet (1.5.119). Even though both Juliet and Romeo know the danger of their love, the strength of that love allows them both to see past their familial enmity and wish to face the coming tribulations together.

Kulich’s view is quite historically accurate as it correlates to the 14th century European culture. Although the play was written in the 1500s, the scene and story are set in the 1300s. In that time period it was very common for a 17 year-old like Romeo to be considered an adult as well as the 13-year old Juliet. In the 1300s, adulthood for girls usually came at 12 and adulthood for males came at 14. Both Romeo and Juliet are over that transition period and their love should not be considered childish with the historical lens of the 1300s. Therefore, it does seem inaccurate to judge Romeo and Juliet’s love as puppy love since they were both considered adults at the time.






indepth #3

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.