Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Ikebana International

Ikebana – New Year

Ikebana International January Event was held on Saturday 1/20/18. Dave and I were fortunate to be able to attend. It was held at The Great Buddha of Kamakura- Mrs. Sato’s residence. The gardens and flower arrangements were beautiful even in winter.

The event included a Taiko drum performance, mochi pounding, and sake tasting. The Taiko drum club is a group from Zushi High School. I took a picture of the information from the itinerary.

They were incredible. They had a total of five performances. I took a short video of each one for your pleasure. Please take time to enjoy. Their performances are amazing. They do not use a conductor during their performance. The first one I filmed from our seats.


After the first performance, Dave showed me a much better vantage point to capture video and pictures.


The third performance.


The fourth performance.


The final performance included eight members each taking a turn on the large drum. We learned the large drum cost the same amount as a Toyota Prius. The strength they use to beat the drum is incredible. Notice, there is at least one person holding the drum during the performance. I filmed several, this one was one of my favorites. Please remember, these are high schoolers!!!


After the Taiko drum performance, we observe mochi pounding. The Mochi pounding was an orchestrated dance! Fresh mochi is delicious!


Before lunch, we posed for a few pictures in the garden. Me with Dave and Miki.

For lunch we enjoyed a gourmet bento box.

It was a delightful afternoon. Probably for everyone’s sake, I put my phone down before we started tasting sake. Happy New Year! Kanpie!

Ikebana New Year Luncheon

Ikebana International celebrated the New Year with a special luncheon in Tokyo. The luncheon was held at the Palace Hotel Tokyo.

The following Ikebana Chapters were represented and brought an arrangement to display:

Tokyo Founding Chapter

Kyoto Chapter

Kobe Chapter

Shinano Chapter

Okinawa Chapter

Sapporo Chapter

Kamakura Chapter (The one I am a member of.)


Nagoya Chapter

Osaka Chapter

Shinano Chapter

Saitama Chapter

Hiroshima Chapter

Besides lunch, the event included three Ikebana demonstrations by renowned Ikebana headmasters. Pictures were not permitted during the demonstrations. You will have to take my word for it, watching them make the arrangements was mesmerizing. Evergreens, bamboo, and plum blossoms were the focus of the three arrangements. In the picture below, the three Ikebana headmasters who made arrangements are in the center. Mr. Akihiro Kasuy is wearing the gray kimono, Mrs. Senko Ikenobo is wearing the yellow kimono, and Mr. Hirooki Ohara is the youngest gentleman in the gray suit.

The arrangement pictured below was completed by Mrs. Senko Ikenobo.

The arrangement pictured below was completed by Mr. Hiroki Ohara who become an Ikebana Headmaster at the age of 6. Yes, 6.

Mr. Akihiro Kasuya completed the arrangement pictured below.

I had to take a couple pictures of the crowds and chaos after the demonstrations were complete. Everyone wanted pictures!

So much going on – gotta take a selfie!

After the Ikebana demonstrations, lunch was served. A four-course lunch with a glass of champagne.

Course 1: quinoa and seafood salad with spinach mousse and spicy cauliflower coulis.

What looks like an egg on top was actually the spinach mousse. It was delicious.

Course 2: Clam soup with thyme. It was served without the broth. The waiters then came around and filled the soup with broth.

Soup with broth.

Course 3: Sous vide beef tenderloin with truffle sauce and seasonal vegetables.

Course 4: Dessert – Cremet d’Anjou with berries and a side of raspberry sherbert.

The appetizer and dessert were my favorite! The seafood salad with spinach mousse was delicious. The raspberry sherbert and fresh berries were a delightful and satisfying treat at the end of the meal.

A group shot of the Americans from the Ikebana International Kamakura Chapter members.

Before leaving, Dina and I were able to get a picture with Mori-san. Mori-san is the president of the Japan side of the Ikebana Kamakura Chapter. She is very kind and is always willing to give us hugs and appreciation for us joining Ikebana.

As I have said several times in my previous discussions about Ikebana International, it is such a fun way to experience Japanese culture. The underlying theme to bring peace and friendship through flowers enhances the experience.

Ikebana New Year

The January meeting of Ikebana was held at the residence of Mrs. Sato’s at the Great Buddha of Kamakura. This is the same location as the first Ikebana meeting I attended in September.

The January meeting was held on a Saturday enabling family members to attend. Lucky for Dave, he was my plus one!

Julia, Dina, Dave and Brent (Dina’s plus one)

Even luckier for him the meeting included a kabuki makeup demonstration, a Nihon Buyo performance, Mochi pounding and Sake tasting! Kanpie!

The Sake was served with our lunch in traditional a traditional Sake box. The Sake box is made of cedar. The cedar enhances the flavor of the Sake.

The guest performer was Minosuke Nishikawa. He has a detailed resume with extensive training, international performances, and notable awards in theater and dance. He began by introducing himself without makeup and giving simple demonstrations of Nihon Buyo.

Following his introduction, he applied kabuki makeup. He started by wrapping his hair and applying a sticky paste to help the makeup adhere to his skin and stay flawless during the performance.

Next, he applied the white face makeup.

And then he drew eyebrows.

Once his face was prepared, he donned the kimono he would wear during his performance. He had an assistant to assist him with tying his obi.

The top kimono was elaborate and required additional attention from his assistant. In the picture, his assistant is ensuring the obi and kimono are secure!

The final pieces to his costume included yellow socks, sideburns, and a hat.

He was now ready to perform the Nihon Buyo. Nihon Buyo is a traditional Japanese dance dating back to the 18th century. The dance was originally deeply rooted in worship and religion. Over time, it developed into a more creative and theatrical performance. In the performance we observed, Minosuke Nishikawa imitated a stringed marionette doll. His assistant was the puppeteer. It was impressive, unique and very entertaining.

I was able to download a few pictures from the Ikebana Facebook page of the preparation and performance.

After the performance, we had the opportunity to enjoy different flavors of Mochi and Mochi pounding. Black sesame seed, red bean, and ginger.

After letting the guests take turns, Mr. Tago Yuji, showed us all how to get the job done!

All of this entertainment and we still had lunch to enjoy! A bento box and Sake!

Another fun cultural experience made even better because I was able to share the day with Dave and friends!

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