posted in: Ikebana | 0

I am told that London is one of the greenest cities in the world. Tokyo, the capital of my native country Japan, is covered with concrete buildings and roads. There is a large park around the Imperial Palace in Tokyo and also there are some small parks around but it does not compare to London. The parks and large open spaces in Ealing, west London, have many magnificent Oak and Horse Chestnut trees. Some of these trees date back to late Victorian era. No wonder that they appear so stately.

Recently on a sunny day, after a few rainy and windy days, I went for a long walk amongst the Horse Chestnut trees. I am constantly enchanted with the wonderful shapes and textures of branches and foliage etc. Thanks to very strong winds the previous day, I found a long-curved branch blown to the ground. The curved shape inspired me and somehow my imagination was stirred by this fallen branch. My thoughts of, “I can use this for my Ikebana training session… expanding the experience of using branches and twigs and thereby transforming a dead looking unwanted twig to a part of an art composition…” appeared in my mind.

Ikebana for you at japanese flower arranging in Ealing
Nature is producing these amazing shapes, colours and textures.

Choice of flowers for the Japanese art of flower arrangement, known as Ikebana, is limited to purchase in the current climate and situation. I did, however, find some Anemones and Pussy Willows at the local supermarket in Ealing. They are not exactly grand but, with the Ikebana discipline, they can be good for practicing ‘Shoka‘ style arrangements.

Shoka‘ is one of the Ikebana disciplines formalised by the Ikenobo schools of Ikebana in the Edo period. It uses the theory of following elements of natural curves, forms, textures etc., using very few natural materials to create a three dimensional composition. For this reason following the Shoka technique is quite difficult. I decided to make two compositions. One is ‘Shoka Shofutai‘ and the other is ‘Shoka Shinputai‘ The two Ikebana compositions are shown below for you.

 Ikebana for you at japanese flower arranging in Ealing
Shoka Shofutai

 Ikebana for you at japanese flower arranging in Ealing
Shoka Shinputai