Japanese Ikebana is a disciplined art form, which nature and humanity are brought together. It has been practiced in Japan for centries and is an amazing artform. Many years are spent perfecting Ikebana skills. Ikebana is not just flowering arranging, it pays close attention to empahasizing the shape, line and form of the plants and flowers.
At my marketing and PR job on base, I have created several marketing campaigns for Ikebana classes offered on base. Every month, a very talented Japanese woman comes to base and teaches Americans Ikebana skills. I have always wanted to go to these classes, but they always took place during working hours. I was speaking with the class instructor to find out more about their special Christmas Ikebana class to help me with the marketing campaign. She suggested that I come into the class during my lunch break and try my hand at Ikebana. It was decided. I would much rather give up a lunch and learn this fascinating Japanese artform, then eat a hamburger.
When I arrived, the Japanese instructor had everything ready for me to begin and to save time. (I only get 30 mins for lunch) I was the only one in the class at the time so it was nice to have one-on-one instruction. (I really needed it) She first began by explaining Ikebana and how it was a perfected skill. She then went on to explain how this Christmas Ikebana was not like most Japanese Ikebana. I think this was more geared towards Americans on base.
She began explaining each plant I was using and had me smell each on and look them over. She would tell me how to place them in the arrangment. I would attempt to try and place them exactly how she wanted, but my Japanese instructor (in a very polite way) would rearrange them for me. She is very much a perfectionist.
I thought it was funny how this very little Japanese woman just took charge and had to have each stem placed in just the right place. It was a very interesting and fun class. I always enjoy learning about the Japanese culture and getting to know them. Although the class was short, my teacher must have seen some potential in me becasue she wanted me to return for the next class during my lunch break. I cant wait to go back.