Trip Start Jul 27, 2006
93Trip End Ongoing
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My friend Alison and I are on a mission to engage ourselves in as many cultural activities before she finishes her contract this summer. After our tea ceremony lesson, and our Flamenco experience, we decided to give Ikebana a try.
Wikipedia further explains:
In contrast to the decorative form of flower arranging in western countries, Japanese flower arrangement creates a harmony of linear construction, rhythm, and color; in themselves, decorative requirements. The Japanese emphasize the linear aspects of the arrangement. They have developed the art to include the vase, stems, leaves, and branches, as well as the flowers. The entire structure of a Japanese flower arrangement is based on three main points that symbolize heaven, earth, and man."
Hmm- maybe I should have read that before embarking on this experience. A handful of us Kobe JETs set out to Osaka to attend an IKEBANA FESTIVAL. When I told my Japanese friends about this, they thought I was crazy. Apparently Ikebana, is not something usually associated with a festival. But this was an attempt at reaching out to foreign citizens in Japan, to expose them to a great aspect of Japanese culture.
I had the flowers pulled out of my hands more than once by my instructor- because I simply wasn't understanding. This is another cultural difference. In the US, we are taught NOT to copycat and instead to be original and bring our own ideas to the table. In Japan, they are taught to be the same.