photo by Carlos Donderis
Traditional Japanese culture includes martial arts, tea ceremony,Japanese dancing, Japanese dancing etc. Normally, Kado is called “ikebana” which is an art to express the beauty of nature using flowers and small branches of trees. Ikebana is familiar to Japanese people, having ikebana arts in an entrance hall or room of their houses, and many people go to ikebana lesson for pleasure. There are many ikebana classes across Japan, and some of them provide lessons in English.
History of Kado (Ikebana)
The history of Kado is considered to go back about 550 years, to the Muromachi period. Back then, it started by arranging flowers in a more beautiful manner which were offered before the tablet of the deceased. Since then, many schools of Kado practicing different styles have been developed with the times. However, the basic idea of Kado is always about how to express your view of the world on a small flower bowl. In ikebana art, a vase is used occasionally, but a flat flower bowl and kenzan (a small plate with lots of spikes) is most commonly used to arrange plants.
Established by Unshin Ohara in the Meiji period, Ohara-ryu is one of the three Kado schools of Japan. The method using a flat bowl and kenzan, which is most commonly used in modern days, was originally developed by this school. Ikebana Ohara-ryu runs ikebana class in English every Thursday. Also, weekend class is available 1-2 times a month. Fees are 4000 – 6000 yen per lesson, materials are included. Lessons are for all levels from beginner to advanced. Booking is required.
Address: 5-7-17 Minami-Aoyama Minato-ku, Tokyo
Sogetsu-ryu is one of the major three schools of kado. It was established in 1927, rather recent, but its free style arrangement using materials other than plants is widely accepted in modern days. This “Atelier Soka” provides ikebana experience lessons for foreign tourists. They have many plans such as 100 minutes class for 12000yen, and 3 hours intensive class for 40000yen. Fees include flowers, a bowl and scissors (booking is required).
Other than one-off lessons for tourists, they also have regular classes.
Ikebana Artist Hiromi
This class is held by one kado instructor of Sogetsu-ryu. The instructor who used to live in overseas is fluent in English, providing ikebana lessons in English for foreign tourists. A lesson is for a group of 2 to 5 people, 8000yen for one-hour lesson including flowers and all tools. Regular lessons are to be held at least twice a month, 5000yen for one-hour lesson (including flowers). Regular lesson students need to bring their own tools such as scissors.
Ikebana Artist Hiromi
Flowers to brighten your life up
Kado, aka ikebana, one of the Japanese traditional arts. Comparing to western style of flower arrangement, it may look easier using a little number of flowers and plants. But expressing one complete scenery on a small bowl with few plants requires highly trained skill and sense. Once you learn ikebana, you will be fascinated by its resonance. Ikebana trial lessons include all flowers and tools so that beginners can enjoy their first lesson. If you are coming to Japan, why not experience ikebana?